Leeds star Caitlin Beevers believes the gap between England and Australia is narrowing ahead of the World Cup.
A week out from the start of the women’s tournament, England are currently third favourites according to the bookmakers.
While Craig Richards’ side have been priced at 12/1, Australia continue to lead the way at 1/10.
The Aussies have won the last two editions of the World Cup and, considering the professional status of their players, they’re expected to make it a hat-trick.
Despite this, Beevers believes that the gap between the two nations is beginning to close.
When asked if Australia and New Zealand are stoppable, she told Love Rugby League: “We’ve managed to have a look at some of the games and honestly, I feel like with the intensity of our games, watching them I feel like we’re not too far off to be honest.
“I feel like the competition will be very good.”
Before setting their sights on either Australia or New Zealand, England’s sights will be solely on their group which includes PNG, Canada and Brazil.
Looking at the competition, Beevers said: “Brazil we don’t really know much about, Canada we don’t really know much about. We just know a fair bit about PNG.
“We played them in a test series over there in 2019. Big time frame so a lot could’ve changed. But they’re frequently playing games so it’s good to keep an eye out.”
Caitlin Beevers has full confidence in England’s ability
Despite having little material on two of the teams in the group, the Rhinos star is confident that as long as England focus on themselves, they can give anyone a hard time.
“All you have to do is look at how the league has gone this year,” said Beevers.
“I think every person that is in the squad this time round has really broadcasted what they can do. To put that ability all in one place, I think that we can’t go far wrong. I think it will look very promising.”
Beevers was part of the Leeds Rhinos team which powered to their second Women’s Super League crown earlier this year.
The West Yorkshire outfit got the better of York City Knights in the Grand Final, winning 12-4.
When asked about the level of competition domestically, Beevers said: “With the top three teams all winning a trophy each, I think it does confirm that the league and the standard is getting much better.
“Individuals are broadcasting their talents in big games. The top three teams are dominating but I feel like Wigan aren’t far behind and we’ve got Huddersfield who are really coming into their own.”
England kick off their World Cup campaign against Brazil on November 1 at Headingley.