England are preparing for perhaps their biggest game since they lost the 2017 World Cup Final against Australia 6-0.
They kick off this year’s World Cup at St James’ Park against Samoa and for the first time Samoa go into the game as favourites boasting serious NRL talent.
A defeat would send England on a path towards a difficult quarter-final tie making victory a must.
England are preparing for the game at Wigan Warriors’ Robin Park and it is what Shaun Wane has seen there that makes him confident going into the tournament hoping to end a 50 year wait to see a British team lift the World Cup.
When asked about the game, Wane said he was “Very excited, I can’t wait.”
Then he went on to talk about the calibre of his England squad saying that they had surprised him with just how they have been saying they have reached another level:
“It’s been better than I thought it would be,” Wane admitted, “When I wrote the 24 down, I did think to myself ‘this is a good team, I’m looking forward it.’ When I got them down to train, it was another level because they’re just that good.”
It is the squad’s standard in training, their detail and their attitude on and off the field which has the former Wigan boss so confident: “Our standard of training, our detail and the way they behave off the field. They leave the changing room in immaculate condition.”
However, it remains to be seen if this will translate into a vital opening game win against Samoa on Saturday.