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Kevin Sinfield sheds light on England’s failure at the 2008 World Cup

The 2008 World Cup was massive let down for England, winning only one game against Fiji whilst losing to both Australia and New Zealand with the latter knocking England out in the semi-final.

The manner which England lost some of their games left fans bemused, including blowing a 24-8 half time lead to eventual winners New Zealand.

The squad assembled was one full of quality as it combined Leeds Rhinos and St Helens players, both of whom were at the peak of their powers after making back to back Grand Finals against each other.

However, Leeds Rhinos captain believes this was one of the downfalls for England that tournament. With both sets of players unable to let go what had happened between the clubs in Super League.

Speaking to the This Is Impact podcast, Sinfield explains how it all went down in 2008 and why he believes England are better for it.

“It was a bit of a turning point for English rugby league,” Sinfield said. “Because in 2008 it weren’t good enough and that was probably because of what had gone on in super league the two years around that point with Leeds and Saints making Grand Finals.

“There wasn’t any animosity between the lads but we didn’t mix well enough, we didn’t get on well enough we didn’t spend enough time together and that hurt us on the field.

“For our sport you have to trust the guy next to you and you have to have that honesty and you only get that through spending time with each other and we didn’t.

“We learned the lessons from that and Steve McNamara went on to do a wonderful job with England by addressing that collective nature about who we were and how we looked after each other.

“It turned into very much like a club side and even though you spent nine months of the year battering each other.”

England did turn it around in the next World Cup, narrowly missing out on the final with the last play of the game in 2013 before subsequently making the World Cup final in 2017.

With England thrashing Samoa in their opening game of this World Cup, the team which is full of players from all different clubs look focused as a cohort as they aim for glory.

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