Heat won't bother England league squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Heat won't bother England league squad

By Steve Jancetic 20/10/2008 06:24:13 PM Comments (0)

England skipper Jamie Peacock hasn't even set foot in Townsville for his side's opening World Cup match, and already he's had enough of the hot weather.

"I think a bit much has been made of it," said Peacock, who will fly to the north of Queensland with the rest of his teammates on Wednesday for Saturday's clash with Papua New Guinea.

"Every second person I talk to has been telling me it's going to be hot up there.

"The conditions are going to be difficult but that's something that we can't control.

"The only thing we can control is our own performance - we're looking to play well in this game because we know we could end up with a bit of egg on our face."

Despite Peacock's lack of concern, there is little doubt the conditions at Dairy Farmers Stadium will take something out the English.

The temperature back in Peacock's hometown of Leeds has been hovering around the nine degree mark the past few days, while it is forecast to be in the low 30s in Townsville later this week.

It is a factor that suits the tropical-dwelling Kumuls but Peacock believes his men will be well prepared.

"With Catalans in the Super League we've played in some fairly tough conditions and occasionally it does get pretty hot in England," Peacock said.

"A few of the players who got knocked out (of the Super League finals) have been doing training sessions in the heat chamber, one in Leeds and one in Liverpool.

"I did one myself, just to get used to it, just to get the shock out of the system."

Rookie England coach Tony Smith has also tailored his pack in a bid to play to the conditions, with the squad featuring only four specialist props - Peacock leading the way along with former Sydney Roosters enforcer Adrian Morley.

Conversely the side has been stacked with eight backrowers capable of filling in up front, the biggest casualty of Smith's prop cull being Wigan big man Stuart Fielden, the player some claimed to be the best front rower in the game just a few years ago.

Peacock believed all the talk about the weather possibly being the catalyst for an upset by the Kumuls was doing a disservice to the strength of the PNG side.

Few expect them to win a game at the World Cup after they were drawn in the pool from hell along with heavyweights England, Australia and New Zealand.

"I think the focus should be on what a good team Papua New Guinea have," Peacock said.

"They've got some good players in Super League and some good players in the NRL - they're probably a bit peeved with the group that they've been put into and I think they'll probably be trying to take it out on us."

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