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Ex-Super League official makes bold prediction about how far England will go in Rugby League World Cup

The World Cup is only just around the corner as England’s opener edges closer as they take on Samoa at St James’ Park.

In fact, England’s warm-up game against Fiji is just days away as they hope to go one step further than they did in the last World Cup when they were an ankle tap away from sending the final to extra time.

Yesterday, we took a look at the two potential routes England could take to World Cup glory. The first would see England start the tournament with a win against a star-studded Samoa side and finish top of Group A.

This would lead to a favourable semi-final against the runners-up of Group D likely to be Papua New Guinea.

However, defeat against Samoa would see them at best finish runners-up in their group leaving them with a quarter-final against Tonga in a repeat of the semi-finals from the last World Cup.

This would make it very difficult for England to make the final four of the home World Cup and former Super League official Richard Silverwood believes they won’t make it that far.

Silverwood, who officiated the last World Cup Final in England back in 2013 alongside 17 other international refereeing appearances many of which saw him officiate games between Australia and New Zealand.

He has had his say on the way he thinks England’s tournament will go tipping England to lose to Samoa in game one and subsequently meet Tonga in the quarter-finals and lose expecting an Australia vs Tonga final.

He took to Twitter to give his predictions: “My QF list: Australia v Ireland, Samoa v Papua New Guinea, New Zealand v Fiji, Tonga v England.

“My SF list: Australia v New Zealand and Samoa v Tonga. Final: Australia v Tonga.”

He also predicted England’s team for the opener against Samoa of course leaving out suspended John Bateman.

He’s made a bold call on the wing and identified his replacement for Alex Walmsley in the front row and what he thinks will be Shaun Wane’s halfback partnership: “I’ll start, see as everyone will be having a go…My England team v Samoa: 1. Tomkins, 2. Makinson, 3. Watkins, 4. Farnworth, 5. Young, 6. Welsby, 7. Williams, 8. Thompson, 9. McIlorum, 10. Oledzki, 11. Batchelor, 12. Whitehead, 13. Radley, 14. Knowles, 15. Syned, 16. Lees, 17. Burgess.”

He believes Leeds’ Mikolaj Oledzki will replace Alex Walmsley in the front row as a member of the Super League Dream Team. He also expects Jack Welsby and George Williams to be England’s halfbacks and not Marc Sneyd whilst tipping Dom Young to start head of Ryan Hall on the wing.

Victor Radley is also preferred to Morgan Knowles at 13.

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