By Liam Williams, Date: 22/11/13
England head coach Steve McNamara has named his 19 man squad to play New Zealand at Wembley Stadium on Saturday (13:00).
Lee Mossop has praised Rugby League World Cup 2013 as being one of the best tournaments so far, as he and his England side prepare for their Big Hit semi-final against New Zealand at Wembley on Saturday (1.00pm).
After a busy club year, Mossop also appreciates what the medical staff for club and country have done for the players, who have been kept fresh throughout the tournament despite a number of the squad playing for their clubs in the weeks leading up to RLWC2013.
“This is my first World Cup and to have it in England is pretty impressive,” said Mossop. “You watch the other games and they have nearly all been a sell-out, there haven’t been many blowout scores.
“A lot of nations have surprised people like Scotland and the Pacific nations. It has been a massive success and probably one of the best World Cups so far.
“We have played every game this year, we haven’t had a weekend off, but World Cups don’t come around too often so we are all buzzing and full of energy.
“It can take its toll, but I think the coaching staff at Wigan and the sports science staff we had made a few changes to what we did in previous years to make sure we were all fresh going into the business end of the season.
“Having made the two finals with Wigan it definitely worked and we have got the same stuff going on with England so we are all fresh, and if you are not up for a semi-final I would say there is something up with you.”
Mossop believes that defending champions New Zealand have been the best side in the tournament so far, though believes that England must first concentrate on their own game before tackling the holders.
“For me New Zealand are the best team in the competition this year,” said Mossop. “I think the way they are playing, the points they have got on the board and the individual brilliance they have got is showing every week. We are under no illusions that if we don’t play well this week we are out
“You can’t concentrate on them too much because if you do that then you won’t do your own job correctly. You have to do your bit right first.
“I think it is just a case of putting into practice what we do in training. That is the frustrating part, during the week we are training fantastically and it is just not quite transferring onto the field.
“But we are at the semi-final stage – it is do or die now. If we don’t do what we have been practising the chances are we will be out and I think people have been conscious of that this week.
“But if we get the small things right and defend tough and run hard then the attacking flair that we have got will come off the back of that and I am confident we can do that on Saturday.”
Tickets for the Rugby League World Cup Big Hit semi-final at Wembley on Saturday (1.00pm) are still available from as little as £20 for adults and £10 for concessions. To purchase your tickets, please either visit www.eticketing.co.uk/rlwc or call our 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 08448472013.
England team to take on New Zealand
Carl Ablett (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Parkside)
George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)
Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)
Rob Burrow (Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions)
Josh Charnley (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield Giants, Newsome Panthers)
Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Brett Ferres (Huddersfield Giants, Smawthorne Panthers)
James Graham (Canterbury Bulldog, Blackbrook)
Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves, New Spring Lions)
Lee Mossop (Wigan Warriors, Hensingham)
Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
James Roby (St Helens, Blackbrook)
Kevin Sinfield (captain) (Leeds Rhinos, Waterhead)
Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos, Latchford Albion)
Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves, Normanton Knights)
Gareth Widdop (Melbourne Storm, Kings Cross)