Kevin Brown has called for England to play more challenging fixtures rather than taking on teams like the Combined Nations, Exiles and France.
He believes by testing themselves more frequently with tougher opponents, England can begin to close the gap on Australia.
He said on the 5 Live Rugby League Podcast:
“I think playing mid-season games against exiles isn’t a test match, playing mid-season games against France isn’t enough of a test. You go into that game knowing you’re going to win.
“What should be changed isn’t the coach, I think Shaun Wane is a fantastic coach and overall the best coach for the job. We need to build that international calendar, get some of the real tough teams over, get the England lads out of their comfort zone a couple more times a year and build on that.
“We need to test these lads, before the World Cup in 2017 we went over to Sydney and played Samoa. That was as tough a game I’ve had playing for England and the adversity and character we had to show as a group, to be able to trust the systems. You can’t just throw a group of players together and expect them to play well. The Australians and the Kiwis have mid-season internationals, they have Origin and they play less games that are more intense.
“Without being disrespectful, when was the last time France came close to beating England? As a fan I don’t want to go and watch a game that has the result already decided.”
You can’t blame the RFL for organising a game with France when southern hemisphere teams are reluctant to travel North and are seemingly unwilling to accommodate us travelling to them aswell. France is the best nation in the northern hemisphere after England so ofcoure that is who any game will be played against.
This really is in the hands of the IRL to schedule proper international windows into the domestic season to allow countries to travel and play each other without it affecting their own domestic seasons.