England captain Sean O’Loughlin has insisted that his side can win the Four Nations under the stewardship of Wayne Bennett this year.
On the day the fixtures were finally revealed to the public just six months out from the tournament kicking off, O’Loughlin told the BBC that whilst he’s expecting all three opponents to be tough – including an improved New Zealand side from the one who played England last year – he believes the English have enough about them to go on and win the whole thing.
“I think the Kiwis will be an improved side – and so will we,” he said.
“The Australians will be strong and Scotland will be a bit of an unknown to us, so if we get a chance to come up against a few different sides before the World Cup, it’s good to see where we are.
“I’m confident we can win it; the steps we’ve made forward up to this point have been good but we’ll have to do more if we want to win this series, but with the personnel we’ve got, we’re more than capable of doing it.”
O’Loughlin also revealed that he has met with Bennett since his appointment as England coach – along with fellow Wigan star and England international, Sam Tomkins.
“I had the chance to meet him during the World Club Series,” O’Loughlin said.
“I’ve spoken to him, met up with him alongside Sam Tomkins to discuss the thoughts he had for us going forward and the changes he wanted to implement. We had an hour or so with him; it’s not long but you get the impression he wants to be successful with England and carry on the good work that’s been done so far.”