Pryce tagged as star of show
LEON PRYCE upset the Australians with his “Blackpool is better than Bondi” crack two years ago and he can make them choke on the pitch this weekend, according to former Great Britain coach Mal Reilly.
“On the front foot Pryce is as dangerous a player as I’ve ever seen,” said Reilly, who now lives in Australia. “He would be a star every weekend in the NRL.
“Australia haven’t seen the best of Pryce. He is an outstanding player, who is strong in every facet of the game. He’s a big, tough kid who has a good pass and is very elusive. He’s a key player.”
And Reilly believes Australia are there for the taking.
“England are in with a real chance. Australia are a skilful outfit, but if the England forwards muscle up then they can take the game to Australia,” he said.
“If England can score early and gain some confidence, they can build on that. The game is wide open. I don’t think an Aussie win is a foregone conclusion as a lot have predicted. If England show the same passion as Papua New Guinea last weekend anything can happen.”
But England prop James Graham does not believe the Australian players think the World Cup is all over.
“Their coach Ricky Stuart will be reminding his players of past losses to England and New Zealand and making sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say the Aussies are arrogant. They are the best in the world and have proved it week-in, week-out. It’s going to be very difficult to beat them in their own backyard. But if you don’t believe you can beat them it’s pointless being over here.”
Australia coach Stuart is expecting a far tougher test from England than they had against New Zealand last Sunday, especially up front.
“Adrian Morley will show his passion and commitment and that will spread throughout the team. It will be very confrontational and physical,” he said.
PRYCE: Outstanding talent