Players can’t tread water in talent pool
ENGLAND hooker Josh Hodgson believes the competition for spots within the team is as hot as he has seen, and he hopes it will help carry his side to success during the Rugby League World Cup.
Australia remain hot favourites to win the tournament, but England are quietly confident of upsetting the hosts if they meet again during the knockout stages.
The Kangaroos beat England 18-4 in a tight tournament opener that was only decided in the last six minutes.
Australia have already qualified for the quarter-finals, while England are almost certain to join them in the last eight – even if they suffer a shock loss to France in Perth tonight.
Hodgson has been rested for tonight’s match as coach Wayne Bennett rotates his squad to make sure everyone has some game time leading into the knockout stages.
Competition for spots within the England squad has been intense and Hodgson says that will be to their advantage.
“The competition for places is always healthy,” he said.
“It creates a hard-working group and keeps you on your toes.
“It stops you from getting comfortable.
“This year is probably the highest I’ve seen for the past four years I’ve been involved in the squad.”
Bennett is confident star duo Sam Burgess (knee) and Jonny Lomax (calf) will be fit to return for next week’s quarter-finals.
PRESSURE: Josh Hodgson.