Boots 'N' All previews the clash between England and the Exiles

Last Updated: 13/06/13 9:40am

McNamara relishing Exiles challenge

England coach Steve McNamara told Boots 'N' All that their clash with the Exiles is crucial to their development towards the World Cup later this year.

McNamara's side face the best foreign players in Super League at the Halliwell Stadium on Friday night as they continue their preparation ahead of the World Cup in the autumn.

"It becomes infectious and our players need to get that feel of being successful as an international team."

Steve McNamara

England begin their World Cup campaign against Australia in late October and McNamara insists his side must take every opportunity to build a winning mentality and momentum within the squad following their success in the home nations last year.

"We picked a trophy up in the home nations last year and it was a long time since England have done that," he told Boots. "We were favourites - quite rightly so - but we did it in very good style.

"We have an opportunity to pick another trophy up if we beat the Exiles in a one-off international this year. It becomes infectious and our players need to get that feel of being successful as an international team."

Competition

McNamara is confident that the competition in the squad, which saw Danny Brough and Shaun Lunt fail to secure selection, puts them in a strong position to challenge

"The quality of some of the personnel in the positions that I have picked are in absolutely brilliant form for quite a number of weeks now," he said. "I have always said, right from the start, if we can all pick the same England team we are in trouble because there is not much competition.

"That has changed dramatically, I believe, over the last 18 months where there has been an emergence of young English talent coming through. If that gets even stronger going into September and October when we pick the squad for the World Cup, we know we'll be in with a real chance."

Intensity

England have lost two of the three clashes between the sides since the first International Origin match in 2011 and McNamara insists the intensity will put them in good stead for the rest of the season.

"We get the opportunity this week against quality opposition and the stats show it is going to be a very high standard game," he said. "The first game of 2011/12 in particular saw 80 more play of the balls in the game than an average Super League game.

"The ball is going to be in play for over 10 minutes more than it would be in an average Super League game so it is a very energy-sapping game and one that our players need going into the international tournament at the end of the year."

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