Morgan Knowles is an “old school” forward who will lead England’s pack for many years, according to legendary prop Adrian Morley.
The St Helens loose forward made a try-scoring England debut in last season’s international defeat to the Combined Nations All Stars, and Morley believes the 25-year-old has all the qualities to lead the pack in this autumn’s World Cup.
“I’m a big fan of Morgan Knowles, I love watching the way he puts himself about,” Morley told the Love Rugby League Podcast.
“He’s very old school for the modern era. He does go up to the mark but very rarely goes over it.
“I love his physicality, he is a young lad but is going to be one of the leaders for England for many years.”
Speaking exclusively to Love Rugby League, the former Great Britain forward backs the current international pack to match Australia and New Zealand in this year’s World Cup, positions Morley feels that the nation has always been strong in.
“Traditionally over my career I felt we more than matched international opposition in the pack,” says Morley.
“We had a terrific pack with Jamie Peacock, Gaz Ellis, Keiron Cunningham, Terry Newton. Where we lacked a bit of quality was maybe the halves and outside backs.
“I think our strength is in the pack again. Alex Walmsley I think has been the best front-rower in the UK for the last few years, he is a man mountain and hard to handle. If big Alex steps up with Morgan Knowles then we have a great chance.”
Don’t write England off, warns Morley
Morley feels that Shaun Wane’s side could prove stronger than many think in the end of season tournament, with Australia and New Zealand in the other half of the draw but Tonga leading the hopes of the Pacific Islands in England’s side of the draw.
“If you want to be world champions you have to beat the best,” Morley said.
“Tonga are going to be up there. Australia will start as favourites and New Zealand look rejuvenated. There is going to be tough competition but there is the English pride and they will give it their all that’s for sure.
“For England making the final would be fantastic, and hopefully they sell Old Trafford out. Once you get there then it is another challenge to get it won.
“I was really enthused after the All Stars game. I thought it was a fantastic performance against a really strong team. You could tell there was a great team spirit and they really put it in for each other in defence.
“We have a chance, definitely”
“We’ve the NRL lads to come back so the squad is going to be strengthened and I thought they did a great performance without them.
“It’s on home soil and I think we have a chance, definitely. Last time was the closest we’ve come to beating the Aussies for a long time. If the public can get behind us then hopefully we can challenge.”
Adrian Morley is joining Sam Burgess and Jamie Peacock for Gods of League: The Enforcers, which takes place across the north of England in October 2022 at Warrington Parr Hall on Thursday 6th October, Halifax Victoria Theatre on Friday 7th October, Leeds O2 Academy on Sunday 9th October and Hull City Hall on Thursday 13th October. For tickets and more information, visit http://gigst.rs/gol