Hayne switch could backfire: Smith - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hayne switch could backfire: Smith

By Steve Jancetic 13/11/2009 07:24:31 AM Comments (0)

England coach Tony Smith claims Australia's switch of Jarryd Hayne from the right wing to the left wing could backfire on the Kangaroos in Saturday night's Four Nations final in Leeds.

Australian coach Tim Sheens seems almost certain to shift Hayne to play alongside Greg Inglis in an attempt to get the newly crowned international footballer of the year more involved, with the Parramatta fullback having struggled to make an impact in his three games on the right wing during the tournament.

But Smith believes Hayne's unfamiliarity with his new centre partner could be an issue for the visitors.

"We've talked about it, we're heard it could happen," Smith said of the Hayne switch.

"We just make plans for as many things as possible.

"We'll look out for him as much as we can there, but there'll be some adjustment from him as well if he hasn't been playing there for a while.

"There's some risks both ways.

"He's a terrific player ... we'd like to think we'll handle it on most occasions."

England named an unchanged side for the Elland Road clash with the makeshift halves pairing 20-year-olds Sam Tomkins and Kyle Eastmond to be given another chance to impress.

"It gives them a chance for a bit of continuity to build on," Smith said.

"We got a lot of confidence out of last week so rather than start afresh with some new faces we decided to go with it (again)."

The game is a re-match of the 2004 Tri-Nations final at the same ground, a game most English fans will have done well to forget after they were hammered 44-4.

Having beaten Australia in the preliminary rounds and topped the table at the end of the preliminary matches, Great Britain - as they were playing back then - produced one of their worst performances ever to trail 38-0 at halftime.

"We went into that game probably as favourites but this one we're going in as underdogs which is great," said skipper Jamie Peacock.

"There's no pressure on you and there was quite a bit of pressure put on us in 2004 and the Aussies came up with a great performance and we didn't deliver that day.

"Things should be different this time around."

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