IT’S fair to say that England have been the best team at the Rugby League World Cup so far.
From the pace of Dom Young and Tommy Makinson out wide to the power of Tom Burgess and Chris Hill in the middle. From the wily head of George Williams in the halves to the maverick ability of Jack Welsby, England seemingly have the right balance throughout the squad.
Shaun Wane has got his selections spot on so far in the tournament with a number of fans and pundits questioning his decisions prior to the action starting in October.
Now though England’s superb form has more than justified those selections with impressive wins over Samoa, Greece, France and Papua New Guinea laying the platform for another clash against Samoa – this time in the semi-final of the World Cup at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In the midst of England’s improvement, the odds of Wane’s men lifting the trophy in just over a week’s time have shortened considerably after being tipped as fifth favourites back at the start of October.
Now they are just 7/2 to win the tournament, with Australia still the favourites at 2/5.
New Zealand sit third in the odds with Betfred placing them at 8/1 whilst Samoa are fourth on the list at 14/1.
It’s a remarkable rise for England and one which Wane should be proud of, but there is still plenty of work left to do if the former Wigan Warriors boss wants to make his dream come true of winning the World Cup on home soil.