‘They can do it’ - Leeds Rhinos’ Carl Ablett backs England to lift World Cup

Carl Ablett
Carl Ablett
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LEEDS RHINOS’ Carl Ablett believes England have a real chance of ending their long wait for World Cup glory as they have still yet to peak.

The former international back-row, 31, will watch on from afar as the national side bid to cause a major shock and beat holders Australia in Saturday’s showpiece in Brisbane.

Ablett, who was an unused replacement when England lost the 2013 World Cup semi-final to New Zealand, believes there are enough positive signs to suggest Wayne Bennett’s side can prosper.

“We’ve done well to get to the final without really peaking,” he said.

“The last time we played Australia at the start of the tournament (18-4 loss) I don’t think there was really much in that game so we’ll go into this one with confidence.

“I hope the nation gets behind them and I do think we’re in with a real shout.

Kallum Watkins.

Kallum Watkins.

“We’ve prepped well and had a few tough games that have prepped them well also so we can go in pretty confident.”

England have never won the World Cup and it was 1972 the last time Great Britain prospered, illustrating the size of the task ahead of them.

Ablett’s Leeds colleagues Ryan Hall and Kallum Watkins are set to feature and he said: “We know what they can do.

“They have done it for a long time over here now and now they’re doing it on the international stage.

We’ve prepped well and had a few tough games that have prepped them well also so we can go in pretty confident.

Carl Ablett

“Hopefully they can bring the World Cup back home with them.”

Ablett is looking forward to heading Down Under himself with Rhinos as they play in Australia for the first time in February’s World Club Challenge against NRL champions Melbourne Storm.

Although he has featured in five previous World Club Challenges, including Leeds’ 2012 victory over Manly, they have all been on home territory.

“This will definitely be different,” said the seven-time Super League champion, who is just starting his second week of pre-season training with the champions.

Ryan Hall

Ryan Hall

“We’re at a massive disadvantage in that we’re playing two Super League games before and then flying out with less than a week to prepare.

“Having been to Australia, I know how hard it is to try and adjust your body clock when you’re flying out there.

“We have six days to not only get over that but get your body in some sort of nick to perform against what’s a pretty formidable team.

“Melbourne have shown over the last 10 years that they are a pretty awesome team.

“We’re all about new experiences, though, as players whether that’s at a new ground or whatever and it will be an experience for us.

“I’m sure the young lads in our squad will gain a lot from it and even the older heads.

“There’s no bigger test than going over to Australia and trying to win.

“We have nothing to lose. We’ll go enjoy the occasion and give it our best shot. I’m back in ripping into training and looking forward to the start.”