Rugby League World Cup: Kallum Watkins believes England can win at Wembley

By James Pearson.   Last Updated: 20/11/13 11:23am

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Kallum Watkins: Believes the all-conquering Kiwis can be beaten at Wembley on Saturday

Kallum Watkins: Believes the all-conquering Kiwis can be beaten at Wembley on Saturday

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England centre Kallum Watkins believes there is plenty of room for improvement ahead of Saturday's crucial Rugby League World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.

Steve McNamara's men dropped their opening Group A game to Australia, but have since seen off the likes of Ireland and Fiji before beating France in last weekend's quarter-final at Wigan.

Next up are holders New Zealand and while the Leeds Rhinos ace has been pleased with how England have been tested physically throughout the tournament he knows they can still raise their game.

The 22-year-old helped set up two first-half tries for Josh Charnley against France for last Saturday, however, Watkins insists England need to start delivering throughout the 80 minutes.

"We've had a tough three games in terms of physicality. We haven't been completely at our best I don't think," Watkins told Sky Sports.

Great Start Programme

Gillette's partnership with the RFL and its commitment to invest in RFL coaches is part of The Great Start Programme which aims to celebrate and encourage the coaches who will inspire the next generation. For more information visit www.facebook.co.uk/GilletteUK

"We've showed in all of our games in patches that we can really play well. We just need to put it together in an 80-minute performance. You need that against the bigger teams as you saw against Australia.

"There was a little patch where we weren't on it and they punished us for it. That could be exactly the same when you face New Zealand as well."

New Zealand, like Australia have won all their matches, and have been in sublime form led by the likes of standout players Sonny Bill Williams and Issac Luke.

Stephen Kearney's side saw off Scotland 40-4 at Headingley last Friday but Watkins believes England can pull off an upset at what is expected to be a packed Wembley at the weekend.

Beatable

When asked if the Kiwis are beatable, Watkins replied: "I think they are. They are a fantastic side, no doubt about it. They have some real top-class players.

"We've showed in all of our games in patches that we can really play well. We just need to put it together in an 80-minute performance. You need that against the bigger teams as you saw against Australia."
Kallum Watkins

"They are all special players. You can't single out one of them. It's a team performance at the end on the day. Their halves have been on form. Their forwards are massive and we've got the match that.

"They've developed well as a team. They've put in some really good performances and results. They'll be confident. Their confidence will be really high. They are the champions as well, so they'll be out to defend the World Cup as well.

"That's the challenge and incentive for us. As players you want to do as well as you can and I think the players we've got we can really do a good job and it's an excellent chance to build a legacy.

"It should be good. It should be an interesting contest, one that I'm looking forward it. What's lying ahead is massive. To get into a World Cup final for us. It's a huge challenge.

"It's brilliant to play there (at Wembley). The atmosphere is fantastic so that could be an advantage for us because the fans will mostly be cheering for us."

Gillette's partnership with the RFL and its commitment to invest in RFL coaches is part of The Great Start Programme which aims to celebrate and encourage the coaches who will inspire the next generation. For more information visit www.facebook.co.uk/GilletteUK

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