LIAM Farrell is aiming to lay down a marker in England’s opening Four Nations game – and prove they are good enough to win the tournament.
The forward is one of four Wigan players set to figure against Samoa on Saturday morning.
A victory would put England on a strong footing heading into two more testing group clashes, against Australia and New Zealand – with the two highest-ranked teams qualifying for the final on November 15.
And after failing to reach the decider of last year’s World Cup, Farrell says they want to prove to an expected 40,000 crowd at Brisbane – and to fans at home watching on TV – that they are well-equipped to claim glory.
He said: “We have a bit of a point to prove, we want to make a statement that we can win this thing.
“If you look at our squad, we are as good as what New Zealand have and what Australia have, and we’ve got the better of Samoa too.
“But it’s about turning up and performing now.
“We had a look at Samoa and they’ve got some good players.
“They will try and run through us.
“So we have to ramp up, because this game is massive for us.”
The England squad are staying on Queensland’s Gold Coast as they prepare for Saturday’s game, which kicks-off at 7am UK time and is live on BBC.
“The heat is not a problem, but jet lag has been,” he said. “People were waking up a five o’clock and feeling tired in the afternoon.
“It took us probably three or four days before the body clock was right.”
Farrell, joined by Wigan team-mates Josh Charnley, Matty Smith and Joel Tomkins in the starting line-up, says the build-up and media coverage has been “low-key” so far.
All four, as well as injured skipper Sean O’Loughlin, last played less than two weeks ago in the Grand Final loss to St Helens.
“I look back at our performances in the play-offs and there are some positives, but the way we went out was disappointing,” said Farrell.
He spared a thought for his room-mate Elliott Whitehead after he and Joel Tomkins got the nod ahead of the Catalan forward. Hull FC’s Joe Westerman (loose forward) and Huddersfield’s Brett Ferres (substitute) are also in the team ahead of Whitehead.
“I thought Elliott would have been one of the first choices,” said Farrell, who was “over the moon” to get picked.
“He’s done really well this season.
“I do think he’s been unfortunate. Steve has picked team, I’m sure, if he keeps training well, he will get a start before long.”