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England’s route to Rugby League World Cup glory

Excitement is starting to build around the Rugby League World Cup after Shaun Wane named his England squad for the tournament yesterday.

Wane included plenty of St Helens players after they won a fourth consecutive Grand Final whilst Wigan, Catalans and Salford all have three players each.

Meanwhile, the NRL is well represented by the likes of Luke Thompson and potential debutant Herbie Farnworth.

But can the squad take England all the way to World Cup glory, one step further than their World Cup final defeat in 2017 in which Wayne Bennett’s side were an ankle tap away from sending the final to extra time.

Well to assess England’s chances we need to take a look at the potential routes to the final England could take to glory which is what we’re looking at today.

Route A:

England’s journey will hinge on the result of the tournament’s opening game assuming England have the strength to beat both France and Greec. This means the opening game could be a shoutout for top of Group A between England and a star-studded Samoa side. Many are tipping England to lose against a team which includes Huddersfield’s Danny Levi at nine and NRL Grand Finalist Jarome Luai at six.

However, should England win and finish top of the Group, they will subsequently face the runners-up of Group D. Tonga are expected to top that group, with Wales, the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea fighting for second spot. PNG are the team tipped to pick up second place meaning England would face them in the quarter-finals at Wigan after England Women take on Canada.

Victory here would send England to the Emirates where they would meet the winner of quarter-final four which is likely to be Tonga vs Samoa in this scenario as quarter-final four would see the runners-up of England’s group face the winners of Group D likely to be Kristian Woolf’s Tonga.

Thus, the final would likely see England face either the winners of Group B or Group C which is set to be Australia or New Zealand.

Route B:

What about should England be second best against Samoa in Newcastle to get the tournament kicked off and only finish second in their group?

This would likely leave England with a very difficult quarter-final against Tonga who they only just beat in the semi-finals of the last World Cup. This game would take place on Sunday 6th November at Warrington.

Their reward would again be a trip to London where they would likely meet Samoa again this time in the semi-finals. Thus, to win the World Cup it is likely England will have to beat Samoa at least once.

Lastly, in the final it would again likely be New Zealand or Australia at Old Trafford.

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