Rugby League World Cup: Rob Burrow out to avenge 2008 defeat

Last Updated: 20/11/13 7:21am

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Rob Burrow: Lost to New Zealand at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup

Rob Burrow: Lost to New Zealand at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup

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Rob Burrow is hoping for the chance to complete some unfinished business in Saturday's World Cup semi-final against New Zealand at Wembley.

The Leeds ace is one of four survivors from England's 32-22 semi-final defeat by the Kiwis in the last World Cup in 2008 and can see the similarities for Steve McNamara's underdogs but he is desperately hoping for a different outcome this time.

"It was a disappointing exit last time," Burrow said. "We're in a similar situation now.

"We probably never really played massively well in that tournament and I still think we're improving in this, so it's very similar."

Ben Westwood, James Graham and James Roby, the other players in the team that lost to the eventual champions in Brisbane five years ago, are expected to keep their places after helping England to a 34-6 quarter-final win over France but Burrow must wait to see if he gets a recall.

"To miss out at your club is a different thing to missing out internationally so, although you want to play, the situation with Steve is that they are all international players here."
Rob Burrow

The 31-year-old made his first appearance of the tournament in the last group match against Fiji in Hull and, after making a big impact from the bench in that game, was bitterly disappointed to lose his place, even though he accepted McNamara's decision gracefully.

"Obviously you want to play but I totally understand this is England and the whole squad is fantastic," he said.

Happy

"To miss out at your club is a different thing to missing out internationally so, although you want to play, the situation with Steve is that they are all international players here.

"I was happy with my input into the game against Fiji. But there's a lot of good performances throughout this tournament by a lot of people so it gives them a big headache.

"Like everyone else I want to play. Just to play for England, first and foremost to represent my country, is a great honour, and with it being a semi-final as well at Wembley, it gives it that extra incentive to want to play.

"I'll just train hard this week and, if I get the nod it wil be brilliant, if not it will be disappointing again but I would understand."

McNamara, who had utility back Gareth Widdop on the bench for the first two games, sprung something of a surprise by including two specialist hookers, Roby and Michael McIlorum, in his 17 for the knock-out tie against the French, and Burrow believes he would be able to add something to the side.

"If I get a chance, it will be a different approach they take over the other guys," he said.

"I'd like to think I'd be a threat if that's needed for this game and the sort of game plan. If I get the opportunity again hopefully I'll take it with both hands."

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