Elliott Whitehead believes England are being too easily overlooked ahead of Samoan clash

Playing in Australia for the Canberra Raiders, Elliott Whitehead knows all about the disrespect which comes the way of English rugby league and the build up to this World Cup has been no different.

With Samoa naming a squad full to the brim of NRL and State of Origin stars, host nation England are already being wrote off for the fixture against the Pacific Islanders.

In their World Cup warm up game against another Pacific Island nation Fiji, England put in a dominant display winning 50-0 as they laid down their foundations ahead of the Samoa fixture.

Experience back row Whitehead believes too many don’t give enough respect to England and explained why to NRL.com

“There is a lot of talk about other nations, but people can talk as much as they like,” Whitehead said. “As a group we know what we are capable of doing and we are going to show that so they can think whatever they want to be honest.

“We aren’t talking about it, we know what we can bring as a group, so if the media want to start talking about that you can, but if not, we are happy to get on with it and do what we do.”

Another reason Raiders captain Whitehead believes England are being disrespected is the impact a home crown will have on Shaun Wane’s squad.

With the opening game expecting big numbers to support the home nation, the fans will have a big part to play the further England progress in this tournament.

“Any time I play for England, no matter where it is, I am very proud and honoured to pull that jersey on and I am sure I will be doing the same next week if I get selected,” Whitehead said. “Samoa have got a great side, it is going to be a tough game and very physical but I think the first 20 minutes against Fiji were a step in the right direction.

“We know it is going to go for a bit longer against Samoa, but the first 20 minutes were excellent. We were very physical and that set a good platform.”

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