With the Rugby League World Cup just a few months away, the training and build-up is getting serious. England have announced that they will play Perth as part of their tournament preparations ahead of the World Cup, which kicks off on 27 October. This will form part of their 10-day training camp ahead of the main event.
England will be hoping to repeat the success of their recent win over Samoa, a match in which they romped to a 30-10 victory, in Sydney. Whilst getting wins under their belt is important, the England coaching set-up will also be hoping to stay injury-free so close to the start of the tournament.
Perth play in the Affiliated States Championship, which comprises four states (South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria) and a team from the Australian Police and Australian Defence Force. The league is overseen by the Australian Rugby League.
Wayne Bennett’s team is putting in the hard graft on the pitch, practising rugby drills and maintaining fitness ahead of the tournament that sees England in Group A along France, Lebanon, and the host nation of Australia . The opening match of the tournament will be a thrilling encounter against the hosts on 27 October in Melbourne.
Off the pitch, Jamie Peacock, the national team manager, stayed in Australia after the Samoa game to make sure everything is in place with logistics, such as access to training facilities. He has visited all the venues for the matches and has checked out all the hotels the England squad will be using to get a feel for it all.
For more details on the World Cup this autumn, including a fixture list and how to get tickets, visit Rugby League World Cup.
If the build-up to this tournament is inspiring you and your club to play more rugby league, you can find drills online from companies such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/ to include in your training and bring the game to life.
Building the game from the grass roots level will be key to the success of future tournaments, so get involved. Whilst rugby union has traditionally been a bigger draw nationally, rugby league is expanding from its north of England powerhouse and its popularity is growing. Let’s hope momentum continues to build.