1. We’re On Home Soil!
It’s common knowledge in sports that it is always more difficult when you’re travelling to your opponent’s own stomping ground to play them and that is ignoring the fact that it in this case there is a 24-hour flight, time difference and a huge shift in climate for the Australians to adjust to. They’re professional sportsmen, yes, they’re world class players, yes, but… are they human beings..? Yes! If the crowd are behind England from the get-go it could be really difficult place to come for the Australians.
2. The Pressure is on them!
As Tonga proved in Autumn, Australia aren’t invincible. They’re brilliant, yes, but they’re not unbeatable. When they travel here, they have an entire country behind them EXPECTING to beat England, nothing less will do. With that, comes pressure. They’re a new, gelling team with more of the younger talent beginning to come through, they’re not as experienced as they were the last time England faced them. The expectation may just be too much, just maybe?
3. Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane is a serial winner. He’s won every competition he could have won with the Wigan Warriors and he sets the highest standards that a coach could set. Wayne Bennett was also a serial winner, however he didn’t understand the Super League and English mentality of wanting to play our own blooded, proud players. No doubt Wane will pick the right person for each job, he won’t be strayed by loyalty to his former players. He is the ultimate professional and can get the England boys raring to go.
4. The PACK
Alex Walmsley, Luke Thompson, James Graham, Elliot Whitehead, Josh Hodgson, John Bateman just to name a few are a pack that contains enough quality to be feared by any opposition. Thompson is set for a move to Canterbury Bulldogs at the end of his current St. Helens’ contract so there is no doubt that he is rated highly down under, at least by a few, just as much as he is rated here in the Super League. If they can get on the front foot against the Australians, there is no reason England’s three quarters can’t get enough points on the board to finally beat Australia.
5. A Point Needs Proving
Great Britain’s Lions left supporters asking questions of their passion and desire at the end of the Tour, after suffering a 100% defeat record. The majority of the players picked were England players, and they will be out to prove a point to the supporters that it wasn’t the case. They have a point to prove and will be wanting to put Northern Hemisphere Rugby League back at the top.
Can England do it?