Exiles game is a massive focus for England

England coach Steve McNamara says the International Origin game against the Exiles is a massive focus for all his players.

McNamara took his 30-man Elite Training Squad to a camp at RAF Cranwell last week, their first meet-up of a season that culminates in the much-anticipated World Cup in October and November.

The appointment of Brian McClennan as the Exiles coach, who led them to victory over England in the inaugural encounter in 2011, adds a bit more spice to the fixture, as McNamara’s men seek revenge.

McNamara said: “Brian’s track record with Leeds, New Zealand and the Exiles speaks for itself, he’s a coach who always brings out the best in players and any team coached by him is going to be very difficult to beat.

“It’s an important fixture for England, and not just because of the part it plays in our World Cup preparations: it’s very much a match we’re going out to win.

“It became clear during the ETS (Elite Training Squad) camp we held at RAF Cranwell last week that the match against the Exiles is a massive focus for all the players.

“The World Cup is our major target but that doesn’t take place until the end of the year: the players are all fired up for International Origin, it’s a game they want to be involved in, a game they want to win, and a game they want to perform well in.

“We did OK two years ago when we played the Exiles but the defeat hurt: Brian McClennan and his Exiles team can expect an altogether more focused England team this time around.”

The International Origin game between England and the Exiles takes place at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday 14th June.

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