Yeaman banks on united front
Club loyalties to be put to one side for vital England clash
Last Updated: 10/11/11 4:22pm
Kirk Yeaman: Support is vital
Hull FC favourite Kirk Yeaman believes the city of Hull will be united as England look to topple New Zealand at the KC Stadium on Saturday evening.
There are no players from Hull's cross-city rivals in the England squad but Yeaman believes the Rovers fans will put aside their differences in the national cause.
The Gillette Four Nations "eliminator" against New Zealand is heading for a 25,000 sell-out and Yeaman says a bumper, partisan crowd can make all the difference as England look to secure the win to take them through to next Saturday's final against Australia.
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England to win Four Nations - 8/1
"I reckon so, it's England isn't it?" Yeaman said.
"I'm sure a few will be biting their lip over me and Tom but overall we are representing out country so I'm sure they'll be cheering us.
"It's going to be electric. I've played in front of 25,000 there in a derby match so I know what to expect. It helps massively when the crowd get behind you.
"It can be an intimidating crowd. They're passionate about rugby league, in fact supporters of all three teams in the city are all passionate about their sport.
"There's going to be 20,000-plus English people getting behind England and it does give you a lift when they get behind the team."
Yeaman, 28, is hoping to line up alongside the 21-year-old Briscoe for the fourth time in a row for England after making his return from a four-year international exile.
He played for Great Britain in the 2007 Test Series against New Zealand, which Tony Smith's men won 3-0, but missed their 44-0 rout of the Kiwis at the KC Stadium after injuring an ankle while playing for the Northern Union in a warm-up exhibition match against the All Golds.
"I missed the first two Tests and played in the last one at Wigan," he said.
"If I get the nod this week, it will be one of the highlights of my career. To represent your country is a massive honour and to do it on your home pitch is something special.
"I'm a Hull lad and all my family will be there."
Briscoe, who comes from Featherstone, is still looking for his first try of the tournament and would love nothing better than to open his account on his home ground.
He watched on as right winger Ryan Hall scored England's two first-half tries at Wembley last Saturday in their 36-20 defeat, although he was unfortunate to have one disallowed in the second half for a double movement.
"I'd love to get a bit more ball," Briscoe said.
"Me and Kirk have done pretty well between the two of us with what ball we've had and it would be nice to get a bit more, especially with it being at the KC."
Briscoe is the youngest member of the England squad but has already won 10 caps and, with Hall, 23, and full-back Sam Tomkins, 22, are expected to form the back three for their country for the foreseeable future.
"We're looking forward towards the World Cup and beyond," Briscoe said.
"With us being so young, we can build up a strong back three and be the best in the world. That's the aim at the end of the day."
More immediately, Briscoe wants to play in the Four Nations final and believes there were enough positives to draw from their defeat by the Kangaroos to suggest they can set up a re-match at Elland Road.
"We can take confidence from Saturday," he said.
"At times we showed we're not far behind them.
"It was just one-on-one mistakes that cost us the game really and in big games like that you can't afford to be making errors like that.
"I think the Kiwis will be very physical as always but hopefully, if we can fix up our mistakes, we should be able to get a win."