I’ve a Thurst to take on the best

Daily Express - - WORLD CUP RUGBY LEAGUE: -

I WILL be more ex­cited than ner­vous when I face Aus­tralia for the first time on Sun­day. This is as good as it gets – play­ing against the world cham­pi­ons and hope­fully test­ing my­self against the great Johnathan Thurston.

He is nurs­ing a shoul­der in­jury af­ter last week­end and had not done any con­tact work up un­til yes­ter­day. On top of that he has had to suf­fer a per­sonal tragedy af­ter his un­cle was beaten to death.

I still hope he plays be­cause he is the com­plete pack­age and it is only when you ex­pe­ri­ence a match-up with a scrum-half of his cal­i­bre that you can gauge where you are at as a player. Ap­pear­ing on this sort of oc­ca­sion is what you dream of as a kid and for which you work so hard.

The Aus­tralians are a very skil­ful and well-coached side and be­cause we had a tough time against Pa­pua New Guinea and the Kan­ga­roos flat­tened a very dis­ap­point­ing New Zealand team last week­end, the me­dia out here are al­ready writ­ing off the World Cup as a one-horse race, with Aus­tralia the in­evitable win­ners.

But we aim to show that will not be the case at the Tel­stra Dome on Sun­day. We have full con­fi­dence in our own abil­ity. If we turn up and play like we know we can we will take some beat­ing.

There is no need for in­fe­ri­or­ity com­plexes. I am sure we can com­pete and take the game to Aus­tralia. We have tal­ent all across the park.

Peo­ple have been read­ing too much into the Pa­pua game. We were sur­prised how good they were and they played with great pas­sion. But, as poor as we were at times, we prob­a­bly pre­ferred a tough hit-out like that to a 50-0 score­line. It blew the cob­webs away and we played a far more con­trolled game in the sec­ond half and came from be­hind to win.

I have never played against the Kan­ga­roos be­fore and the Mel­bourne au­di­ence will be won­der­ing just how good the lit­tle guy from Eng­land is when he is up against the best in the world.

I will be play­ing be­hind a pretty for­mi­da­ble pack. We are blessed with world-class for­wards in Adrian Mor­ley, Jamie Pea­cock, James Roby and James Gra­ham. Th­ese guys can out­mus­cle the Aussies and give my­self and Leon Pryce the plat­form we want.

Leon has been rip­ping Su­per League de­fences apart this sea­son and is a big weapon for us. We com­ple­ment each other well and when Danny McGuire comes on he gives us that ex­tra spark. What­ever tri­an­gle we use it will be a good one. It is an ex­cit­ing time for all the guys and this is an op­por­tu­nity to show how good they are. We have come out here to win the World Cup, we will have a lot of sup­port on Sun­day and the aim is to lay down a marker that we can con­test the fi­nal on

Novem­ber 22.

ROB Bur­row is aCo-op­er­a­tive Try It am­bas­sador. Visit www.tryit.co.uk

Pic­ture: LU­CAS DAW­SON

BIG CATCH: Johnathan Thurston is the Kan­ga­roos’ dan­ger man

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