Great Britain legend Stuart Fielden doesn’t believe England will have enough to win the Rugby League World Cup.
Shaun Wane’s team topped Group A after sweeping aside Samoa, France and Greece, setting up a quarter-final against Papua New Guinea.
However, speaking to Serious About Rugby League, former Bradford Bulls and Wigan Warriors forward Fielden has doubts as to whether Shaun Wane’s men have what it takes to win the tournament.
“Australia and New Zealand are in a different league,” said Fielden. “England will get through to the final stages and it’s quite a win having those two on the other side (of the draw).
“You just can’t say they are going to get anywhere near Australia or New Zealand though. That’s not me being pessimistic, it’s just realism.
“Wane is a good coach and they have been playing pretty well but beating the Aussies and the Kiwis is a tough one, it’s hard to see it happening.”
As the draw works out, England won’t face Australia or New Zealand until the final with Wane’s side to face Tonga or Samoa in the semi-finals should they come through PNG.
Fielden does admit that being on the other side of the draw does provide England hope, and he is hopeful, despite his prediction, that they can finally beat their southern hemisphere opponents when it matters most.
“It would be great to see them turn out and it becomes one of those real tight games,” Fielden added. “It would be great to see England finally win it.
“In those six years I played for Great Britain we always just got pipped at the post by Australia or New Zealand, so it would be great to see England on the other side of it.
“I would love to see a tight game where England pip Australia at the post, so let’s hope we can pull it out of the bag.”