Rugby League World Cup: Shaun Wane excited by the pressure of the knockout stages

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England head coach Shaun Wane says he’s excited to reach the knockout stages of the Rugby League World Cup.

His side made it three wins out of three in Pool A on Saturday, with a 94-4 victory over Greece at Bramall Lane.

England will now meet Papua New Guinea in the quarter-finals at the DW Stadium this weekend.

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Wane said: “Hopefully it’s going to be a full house on Saturday.

Shaun WaneShaun Wane
Shaun Wane

“The proudest day of my career will be if we get to Old Trafford and win that game, but before that we know we’re going to be challenged by a lot of good teams who are still in this competition.

“We enter this week and it’s sudden death, so we’ll train hard and use lots of video.

“It’s game on, these are the weeks I like, because there’s pressure and we have to win, which excites me.

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“Everyone will be ready to play in the next few weeks, because you know what can happen with injuries and suspensions. There’s a real good feel about the team.

“We’re going to have a good look at Papua New Guinea, and I’m going to pick the 17 to win that game at Wigan.

“I try to be as honest as I can with the reasons why players will be in and out. I don’t find those conversations hard because they understand.

“I’ve really enjoyed these last few weeks and I’m desperate to make sure it carries on.”

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Wigan Warriors academy product and current Warrington Wolves scrum-half George Williams captained England against Greece in Sheffield, and states there’s a positive feeling in the camp.

“We always believed,” he said.

“The Samoa game was good for us and we’ve just slowly built on that.

“There’s still things to work on from the Greece game. We probably started a bit shaky and made too many errors, but we’re happy with the scoreline.

“These next games are the ones you want to be involved in. It’s massive to be in finals, these are the games you’ve got to win.

“I’m enjoying my rugby, it’s been really good. The team is full of confidence, and we’re playing well, so it’s easy for me when you’ve got the middles we have to lay the platform.”