Thurston wary of England’s World Cup challenge

Australian rugby league icon Jonathan Thurston believes that the 2017 World Cup will be a tough test for the Kangaroos.

The draw for the tournament was made earlier this week, with Australia set to open the competition with a game against England in Melbourne.

Thurston sees England under new coach Wayne Bennett as a bigger threat now than before during his career.

“The Kiwis have been playing outstanding footy the last few years and they’ve had our measure in a few games,” he said.

“Obviously with Wayne Bennett coaching the England side they will grow another leg and get the best out of their players.

“It’s great that we’re growing international rugby league. Obviously the Fijians are talented and PNG have a great team as well.”

Thurston is also pleased that Townsville in North Queensland will host fixtures during the tournament.

“The community would turn up to support anyone and that’s been proven in the past,” he said.

“It’s great that we can have [three] matches here in Townsville and [six] matches throughout northern Australia so we’re very excited and thrilled, and no doubt the community will get behind it.

“I think they just love any sport in general – they certainly love rugby league – so they’ll turn out in their drove and support either team.”

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