Ratchford happy to wing it

Stefan Ratchford played against Lebanon last weekend. Picture: NRL Photos
Stefan Ratchford played against Lebanon last weekend. Picture: NRL Photos
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Stefan Ratchford admits England have important lessons to learn ahead of Sunday’s final group game with France.

Critics were unimpressed with their 29-10 victory against Lebanon in their last meeting.

And Wiganer Ratchford acknowledges they have issues to address.

“We found things which worked against Lebabon, and rolled them down the middle,” said the 29-year-old former St Pat’s junior.

“But the next time we got the ball, we tried something different.

“We need to stick with it, and not get too excited when we see a bit of space.

“We can learn a lot about the things we did – and put in a better performance against France.”

Five of England’s 17-man squad for Sunday’s game played their junior rugby league in Wigan.

Ratchford and Warriors duo Sean O’Loughlin and George Williams were at St Pat’s (the last also played at Ince Rose Bridge) while Ben Currie (Golborne Parkside) and Chris Hill (New Springs Lions) are also in Wayne Bennett’s side for the Test in Perth.

Ratchford’s versatility will be tested, too, with the Warrington man named on the wing.

In an earlier interview, he said he has made “one appearance on the wing and that was 10 years ago.”

“But I’m more than willing to put my hand up,” he said. “I’ll play anywhere.”

England need to win to guarantee their quarter-final spot though few expect France to pose a big threat.

“They get up for this clash, last year they came at us hard early on, so we’ll have to roll our sleeves up,” added Ratchford.