Kangaroos backs formidable: Smith - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kangaroos backs formidable: Smith

By Ed Jackson 15/10/2009 04:36:40 PM Comments (0)

England coach Tony Smith admits his team doesn't have the backline power to match the Kangaroos' cast of stars in the Four Nations tournament beginning this month.

Australian-born Smith, the younger brother of Sydney Roosters coach Brian, said his squad lacks the firepower provided by superstars such as Billy Slater and Jarryd Hayne.

"I don't want to diss my blokes at all because they're all good young blokes and all try hard but you're talking about pretty exceptional players, and you can name a couple of others in the outside backs for Australia as well," Smith told Sky Sports Radio.

"Those sort of players only come along now and then, we're probably not in that category at the moment in those positions.

"Over the next few years we'd like to produce some. We're going to put out some boys who are will try their hardest and are going to be better for the experience of playing against players like that."

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens has said wintry weather conditions could hamper Australia's attempts to play an open and attacking style during the tournament, which begins next weekend with Australia taking on New Zealand and England playing France.

And Smith said he could only hope for the heavens to open to aid his team.

"They (Australia) are world class, so hopefully not only will it rain, it might even sleet and snow to slow the boys down," he said.

"We've hardly had any rain lately, we've only had about a couple of days rain in the past month to five weeks.

"Conditions are perfect at the moment but I'd love it to be rainy and slippery for those guys.

"He's got some quality outside backs and it's probably not an area that we're strongest in so, if it can even up the ledger in a big way and we can force it through the forwards, that'd be nice."

One of those forwards the Kangaroos will face in England is new South Sydney recruit Sam Burgess, who Smith has backed to be a success in the NRL.

"Young Sam, he's a big, tough kid who likes to mix it up the front," Smith said of the 20-year-old forward.

"He's good on his feet for a big man and he's got good skills. It's going to be a great experience for Sam, I'm sure he's going to be targeted being one of the few Poms to play in the NRL next year but I think he'll relish that."

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