England going in right direction, insists Wayne Bennett

Wayne Bennett believes England are on the right track to achieve something special, but aren’t getting ahead of themselves just yet.

England edged past New Zealand 20-14 at Anfield on Sunday afternoon to claim a series win over New Zealand.

The Lions are currently 2-0 up in the series, with the final Test still to be played at Elland Road next Sunday.

Bennett thinks the team are going in the right direction but are remaining grounded.

He said: “I think last year’s World Cup in Australia was a great moment for them.

“The guys got a lot of belief in Australia and we came together as a team. It was my second year with the team and I was trying to build something and they were clicking with the idea.

“We have come here for this series with New Zealand, who have quality players in their team, and it is a great series. There are nine players who played in Australia not in this series and I didn’t really know about Tommy (Makinson) until we took him to Denver. Jake (Connor) stood up and George (Williams) played like I know he can.

“We are going in the right direction but we are not getting over confident. We are doing things right and we have got a great group of men that I enjoy working with.”

It is unclear whether England will have any Test matches in 2019, with the Great Britain tour of Australia currently up in the air.

The Rugby League International Federation will congress in York next week to discuss the future of the international game, and Bennett wants to see more internationals being played.

He said: “I hope they have a strong meeting, stand up for the game and give us a product that we all want to see which is international football played by the very best.

“Australia do what they want to do (regarding the international game) but we will be in that part of the world next year and we will be playing Test matches.

“We might not be playing Australia but we will be over there somewhere and we will be playing Test matches and I’m very confident about that.

“There was a great crowd (at Anfield) and they got right behind the boys. Tonga and Samoa have done wonderful things on the international stage recently and we have just got to keep building on it now and try to get the politics out of it. The players want to play international football.”

Bennett confirmed that Daryl Clark suffered a dislocated rib in the match. England will face New Zealand in the final game of the series at Elland Road, Leeds, on Sunday.

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