England coach Steve McNamara has admitted that NRL-based players must raise their game if they are to stay in his World Cup plans.
There are 100 days until the Rugby League World Cup begins and McNamara recently spent three weeks in Australia where he assessed some of the English talent who could feature in his squad.
McNamara has warned players in the NRL that none of them are guaranteed selection and believes they must do more to impress than domestic stars, due to the high standards in the Super League.
"I'd like to make it clear to everyone that there are no guarantees," said McNamara. "In fact the NRL boys are going to have to work even harder to make sure they're in with a shout of featuring in the World Cup.
"That's not because they're 12,000 miles away, it's purely because so many players in Super League are playing at, or near the top of their game at the moment.
"Those players are also putting enormous pressure on the ETS (Elite Training Squad) members and that's making my job even harder, which is just how I want it.
"I never had any expectation that we'd go through a full season without senior players suffering injury and the summer has been tough on the likes of Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Danny McGuire, Jack Reed, Gareth Widdop and James Roby but what's heartening is the number of players who are stepping up to the plate.
"It's also amazing how quickly the selection landscape can change: none of the five players I've just mentioned are out of the picture yet and I'm sure we'll see more players putting themselves in contention.
"With just 100 days left before we kick off the World Cup against Australia, there is still a lot of rugby to be played and I'm sure my job is going to get harder: I wouldn't have it any other way!"
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