It’s probably something you never get over: Morgan Knowles gives honest assessment on England’s World Cup campaign two months on

Josh McAllister
England versus Samoa, Morgan Knowles. PA.

England’s Morgan Knowles believes the World Cup heartbreak will be a feeling he’ll probably never get over as the St Helens forward gives an honest assessment 62 days on. 

Knowles, 26, featured from the bench in the dramatic semi-final loss to Samoa as Stephen Crichton kicked a winning drop-goal for a 27-26 score at Emirates Stadium back in November.

Samoa became the first Pacific nation to reach a World Cup final, falling short to Australia in front of a near sell-out crowd at Old Trafford.

England were left with heartache following the defeat on home soil, with ongoing reviews on Shaun Wane’s future as England boss after just his first major tournament.

“It is probably something you never get over,” Knowles told Love Rugby League.

“It’s always going to be something you look back on and will be disappointed with. It’s an opportunity missed. It was frustrating how it was because we are good enough to do better and we just didn’t.

“The biggest thing is disappointment. It was an opportunity missed. And the top and bottom of it was that we just weren’t good enough on the day which is really disappointing.

“But for the game as a whole, the World Cup (on home soil) was really good. It was a good spectacle. It was good to see some of the lower teams doing well, performing and putting on good displays.

Morgan Knowles on international schedule

St Helens team-mate Konrad Hurrell recently threw Tonga’s name in the hat for an end of season test series against England, having not faced each other since the 2017 World Cup semi-final.

Tonga reached the quarter-finals of the delayed 2021 tournament, falling short against the same opponents as England in Samoa.

Knowles has joined the calls for an international calendar to be locked in. Only a mid-season fixture against France has been confirmed for England so far in 2023.

“That needs to get sorted soon,” Knowles said on the international calendar.

“You can’t be going into the season not knowing what is happening at the end of it. Hopefully that does get resolved so we know what the international calendar looks like.”

Morgan Knowles on World Club Challenge

Knowles’ attention now turns to the World Club Challenge, with the chance of claiming the title as the best club in the world.

Paul Wellens’ side travel to Australia next month to take on back-to-back winners Penrith Panthers, which could help with the World Cup disappointment according to the loose forward.

Knowles commented: “It definitely helps (knowing the World Club Challenge is coming). You’re not going into the first couple of months of Super League where it’s wet and cold and you’ve got to get going again.

“You are going out there, it’s exciting and it’s something we really want to win.

“We’ve had two years because of the current climate that it has been taken away from us. So, it is even more important that we can get out there and hopefully get the job done.”

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