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Page last updated at 20:19 GMT, Monday, 19 October 2009 21:19 UK

Peacock says England must deliver

Smith respectful of France threat

England captain Jamie Peacock has challenged his side to prove their worth during the Four Nations tournament, which starts this weekend.

England begin their campaign against France in Doncaster on Friday before facing Australia in Wigan and world champions New Zealand in Huddersfield.

"It's about time we delivered and won something. Hopefully this will be the year," Peacock told the BBC.

"We let ourselves down at the World Cup and we know we can do better."

England lost three of their four matches in Australia in 2008, including a 52-4 thrashing by the hosts.


But coach Tony Smith, whose side beat Wales 48-12 in a warm-up game in Bridgend last Friday, has named a new-look squad for the Four Nations.

He has included Super League young player of the year Sam Tomkins from Wigan along with highly-rated youngsters Kyle Eastmond of St Helens and Warrington-bound Richie Myler.

"There are some real good young players in the squad as well as some more experienced faces so it has a good blend and it is looking promising," said Leeds star Peacock.

"Some of the younger players are full of confidence and it is up to us as senior players to nurture that and making sure they go out and play with that form because sometimes they can be overawed."

Smith admits his side cannot match the pace and skill of Australia's star-studded backline but Peacock says the likes of Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Jarryd Hayne might not prosper in the English conditions.

England captain Jamie Peacock
Peacock is hoping to make up for a disappointing World Cup

"It's a pretty special backline and hopefully the weather will slow them down a bit," he said.

"I'm sure Smithy will come up with some ideas but at the moment I'm relying on the weather."

Australia coach Tim Sheens believes that playing at home will give England a significant advantage, insisting that the success enjoyed by English clubs in the annual World Club Challenge held on British soil is more relevant than Australia's 52-4 defeat of Smith's men in Melbourne last November.

"We've only got three players who have actually toured and played more than one game in a row," he said.

"A lot of them have been here on a one-off occasion with the World Club Challenge and they've been reminded that, when you play in these conditions, the English are no pushovers.

"What happened in the World Cup with England and Australia and what's going to happen over here are two different things. The cricket reminded us of that."

see also
Smith happy with England workout
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Wales 12-48 England
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Aussies out of French contention
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Aussie pair to make Four Nations
13 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Bridge given shock England call
13 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Leuluai included in Kiwis squad
07 Oct 09 |  Rugby League

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