05th February 2010
Four Nations awaits the stars of Super League
The RFL’s Director of Performance and Coaching Jon Roberts has issued a timely challenge to the players who have ambitions to fly the flag in this autumn’s Four Nations Down Under – England expects great things from you in 2010.
As 14 clubs prepare for the opening round of the new Engage Super League season, Roberts is reminding the country’s top talent that many of them are about to embark on an exciting four-year journey.
As well as selection for England against New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea at the end of this season, many of Engage Super League’s shooting stars have a chance to put down a marker for the 2013 World Cup.
The schedule for the 2010 Four Nations was confirmed earlier this week when it was revealed that England face New Zealand in Wellington, Australia in Melbourne, Papua New Guinea in Auckland and, hopefully, a final appearance in Brisbane.
Before then, England are also expected to play a mid-season Test match against France on home soil as well as a warm-up game in the southern hemisphere prior to the Four Nations.
“This is a big year for every Engage Super League player, especially those who have ambitions to represent England in 2010 and the 2013 World Cup,” said Roberts.
“We are progressing well with details for the Four Nations to ensure we get all the specifics right for a performance environment. We want to build on what was achieved in 2009.
“For now our main focus is clearly on the recruitment of the new national coach and once that happens a lot of things will fall into place.
“Until then we will continue to work with the members of the Elite Training Squad (ETS) by looking at their development and giving them the support they require to meet their individual needs.”
There are currently 17 players in the ETS but more will be added over the course of the 2010 Engage Super League season once the new England coach is in place. The vast majority of the England squad that flies out for New Zealand in early October will be drawn from the ETS.
“The Four Nations schedule is not without its challenges but we’ll be doing a lot of work to ensure we manage our preparations so the travelling causes minimal disruption,” added Roberts.
“We hope to play a warm-up match in New Zealand against a strong nation from the southern hemisphere to help the squad acclimatise.”
The process of finding a successor to national coach Tony Smith is progressing and Roberts is confident the new man will be in place in time for the mid-season Test against France.
2010 Four Nations dates confirmed
October 23: New Zealand v England, Westpac Stadium, Wellington.
October 24: Australia v Papua New Guinea, Parramatta Stadium
October 30: New Zealand v Papua New Guinea, International Stadium, Rotorua.
October 31: Australia v England, Melbourne (venue tbc).
November 6: England v Papua New Guinea, Eden Park, Auckland.
November 6: New Zealand v Australia, Eden Park, Auckland.
November 13: Final, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.