Lee Briers believes England will have pulled off a masterstroke if Victor Radley is fit and available to play in their World Cup squad this autumn.
The Sydney Roosters forward suffered a suspected seizure after getting knocked out against Melbourne Storm. He was later seen on his feet, smiling with teammates after the shock incident.
Radley last month confirmed he was pledging his allegiance to England to honour his father, and had told head coach Shaun Wane of his intention to play in the World Cup if selected.
And speaking on the latest Love Rugby League podcast, legendary half-back Briers believes Radley’s addition gives England a real lift ahead of the tournament.
“It’s a masterstroke getting Victor Radley playing for England. He is world class,” said Briers.
“I think it can elevate them to be challengers. We also have Morgan Knowles at Saints and Morgan Smithies at Wigan who is unbelievable. Radley is someone who can take pressure off the halfbacks a lot, so can Knowles. Victor can fill in at nine too where we are lacking, I like him a lot.”
Signs of most competitive World Cup ever says Lee Briers
Briers is preparing to move to Australia after accepting a coaching role at the Brisbane Broncos, and will miss the World Cup as he relocates from Wigan.
But the former Warrington star says the tournament is showing signs of being the most competitive ever, with World Cup chief executive Jon Dutton claiming in last week’s podcasts that five nations could now win the men’s trophy.
“I love the way each team have got stronger because the Island boys are picking their heritage,” said Briers.
“I’m not sure how much Jon Dutton knows about rugby league but there aren’t five teams who can win it. There’s probably two but it will be competitive. When your chair in the office is next to Shaun Wane I have to say England has a chance too.
“There won’t be a semi-final where there is 50-60 points. You will see two intense semi-finals which is great. Samoa and Tonga are great but I don’t think they can live with the intensity of the other nations.”