IN an interview this week with infamous Australian Rugby League journalist Dean ‘The Bulldog’ Ritchie, Steve McNamara admitted that you can never guarantee success as a coach but he thinks the preparation his team are putting in will give them a chance to win Rugby League World Cup 2013.
McNamara is on a three-week tour of Australia catching up with all the England-qualified players currently based in the NRL. It’s a busy time for him and a last chance to see those players in the flesh and have a face to face catch up before his final RLWC2013 squad takes shape.
As he explained to The Bulldog: “I have met up with Souths, Melbourne and was up the Gold Coast when they played. I will visit James Graham and Canterbury this week. I will have a meal with James and the Burgess boys. We get together as much as we can. I was in Brisbane as well (for State of Origin) and also had a few sessions with the Broncos, watching Jack Reed and getting information.
“We think we will be very competitive (at RLWC2013). We have some very good players in England and now a core of players not just playing in the NRL, but making a big impact.”
Ritchie also put the big question to McNamara: “Can you win RLWC2013?”
And McNamara was bullish with The Bulldog, saying: “We can. We will prepare ourselves to give us our best opportunity to perform well. You can never guarantee success and you can never guarantee you are going to win anything. But you can guarantee you will be the best prepared you can be going into the tournament and without doubt, we will be.”
The England coach also made the point that the exodus of English players to the NRL will at least have the positive effect of staving off more attacks from rich Rugby Union clubs.
McNamara said: “Rugby Union in England is very, very powerful and has been a threat to taking our players for a number of years, particularly since it went professional. The NRL salary cap has gone up through the TV deal so our players can now earn the same money and have the same profile on the other side of the world. We shouldn’t be scared of it; we should embrace it because it is protecting us from another enemy.”
Tickets for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup are now on sale. Langtree Park will host Australia v Fiji on November 2 and you can buy your tickets here.