Any Blood Left In England Rugby League?
As the World Cup squads are announced one after another, I can't help but feel let down by Wayne Bennett's selection. The Ireland squad honestly looks capable of beating England, and that isn't being disrespectful to Ireland as they have a team which will honestly cause some damage this World Cup, it indicates just how far down in my estimations England are currently sitting.
Since 2013, blood has been on the lips of the English after the Sean Johnston masterpiece try and who can blame them? But with a team selection so lifeless, a transfusion is needed.
The Kiwi's have some fresh faces to the New Zealand side with Kidwell pulling the strings, replacing Stephen Kearney back in 2016. Jason Taumalolo who has been the heartbeat of the Kiwi Rugby League side has blindsided Kidwell with his shock move back to Tonga RL, along with co-stars David Fusitu'a, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Manu Ma'u.
Tongan RL has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, and they are now looking increasingly likely to be semi-final contenders with the potential of possibly upsetting the big 3 (Australia, New Zealand and England).
Echoes around International RL of set payments to ensure all players and all teams get the same amount per game have blasted the media airwaves lately, which has been a potential factor in the Pacific Island teams strengthening from year to year.
International Rugby League is quickly increasing in standard and with the inclusion of Toronto Wolfpack earlier this year to Kingston Press League 1, the North Americans may very well be knocking at the door come the England RLWC in 2021.
But England have a long way to go if they think they are going to leave a legacy in this World Cup, as they've have had major set backs from expulsions and a squad with some questionable inclusions.
One can only hope Wayne Bennett has the remedy, after all he did deal the wrong prescription.