England squad good enough to seize prize, insists Hall

Ryan Hall.
Ryan Hall.
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LEEDS RHINOS winger Ryan Hall reckons England are good enough to win the Ladbrokes Four Nations.

England warmed up for Saturday’s opener against New Zealand at Huddersfield with a 40-6 victory over France in Avignon.

And the Rhinos man reckons England now have the makings of a tournament-winning team under new boss Wayne Bennett.

He said: “Certainly on paper I think we have.

“I don’t think just because we won on Saturday we might win the Four Nations. It’s not about that, it’s about the longer picture.

“A lot of the lads have played for England before. I know there was five debuts out there, but we all know what it’s like to play for England and we won a Test series last year, which we took a lot from against the number one side in the world.

“Hopefully that experience will show itself in the Four Nations.”

The win in Avignon was Bennett’s first game as coach and Hall reckons his appointment has boosted their chances.

“He knows his rugby,” Hall said. “I know that sounds obvious, but he knows what he wants from a team.

“Some coaches maybe have things up for debate, like what do the players want, but he knows what he wants his team to look like and that comes across great in training.

“There’s no chats, it’s like ‘this is what I want you to do, because X, Y, Z’.

“He’s great with players and his record speaks for itself.”

Hall feels the hit-out against France has blown off some cobwebs.

He reflected: “It was good to get back playing again because I was one of the lads who finished on round 30, so I missed a few weeks of playing.

“It was good to get a game under my belt, the full 80 minutes and I was happy with my involvements.”

Hall’s brace of tries took his international tally to 28 in as many appearances, but he insisted: “When you play on the wing in a good side you tend to score some tries.

“I have played on the wing in some really good England sides and this is one of them.

“It was good to get two.”

Hall was partnered with St Helens centre Mark Percival for the first time and feels the combination has promise.

“Obviously we weren’t going to be executing to 100 per cent,” Hall said.

“I am getting to know how he plays and that game will go a long way towards next week when we need to execute everything we can.”

Hall was impressed with the St Helens centre’s England debut.

“I like him as a kid,” he added. “He is good, he throws everything he’s got at it. He was nervous in the changing rooms. I sat next to him and he asked if I was nervous.

“I said ‘no, I’ve been around a bit now and you get on with it’ and I think that reassured him. I could see him take a lift from that, which was good.

“If I can help him that way I am glad to do that.”