Offiah wants extra Exiles match
Expand Origin series to boost World Cup bid says ex-England star
Last Updated: 18/06/12 6:18pm
Martin Offiah: Three match series
Former Wigan and Great Britain star Martin Offiah has called for a further expansion of the international Origin Series.
The showdown between England and the elite of Super League-based overseas players was expanded to two matches following the success of last year's inaugural one-off clash.
England drew first blood in this year's series by gaining an 18-10 victory in the opening match at Langtree Park on Saturday.
But The Exiles will have a chance to level things up when they meet England at Huddersfield's Galpharm Stadium on Wednesday, July 4.
Offiah, however, insists that two matches are simply not enough and wants the format to be expanded further still to become a three-match series.
He believes such a move will give Steve McNamara's national team the best possible preparation for the 2013 World Cup, which will be held in England and Wales.
"I can't express how important this two-match series against the Exiles is in England's build-up to the World Cup. Personally, I'd like to see another game added to the schedule because, if we want to do well on home turf next year, these matches are imperative. "
Martin Offiah Quotes of the week
"I can't express how important this two-match series against the Exiles is in England's build-up to the World Cup," Offiah wrote in his column in the London Evening Standard.
"Personally, I'd like to see another game added to the schedule because, if we want to do well on home turf next year, these matches are imperative.
"No disrespect to Wales and France but they are two developing nations, whereas the likes of Australia and New Zealand have been at the top level for many years.
"Without playing those sides in our build-up, we need the next best thing and I believe that is the Exiles.
"I know this concept isn't to everyone's liking but it is to mine and I know the England lads see the importance of it. They definitely wanted to get their revenge following the defeat last year."