England Rugby League
England Rugby League

Date: 12/6/13

England and Huddersfield Giants forward Eorl Crabtree has highlighted Friday’s International Origin Match against the Exiles as a pivotal moment for the England squad ahead of Rugby League World Cup 2013.

England will play their only competitive pre-World Cup game against the Exiles at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington (8.00pm) and Crabtree believes it will be a significant occasion for players and coaching staff alike.

“I’m really enjoying being in the England camp so far,” said Crabtree, who is part of a 20-man squad spending the week at the team’s Loughborough University base. “It’s quite intense and we’re working hard for the game at the weekend.

“We know we need to be well prepared for Friday. This is going to be the most intense game any of us will play all season until the World Cup starts so we need to make the most of it.

“As players we all know that we need to grab the opportunity and put in a big performance and put ourselves in the frame to get selected for the World Cup at the end of the season.

“Some people have labelled the International Origin Match as a sort of warm-up for us but that’s not something I agree with. This is a test for us and a massive game for the group.

“From a personal perspective I’d like to win. We haven’t won this series yet against the Exiles and I’d like to be part of the England squad that changes that.”

Crabtree is one of three Giants players in the squad alongside Leroy Cudjoe and England newcomer Brett Ferres, and for the first time in International Origin Match history they won’t be lining up against any club-mates but Crabtree says he isn’t concerned with the Exiles squad.

“I’ve had a quick glance at the Exiles squad,” he said. “I’m not too interested in what they are doing. We know they’re all good players otherwise they wouldn’t be selected but we’ve got a really strong squad ourselves and that’s what I’m concentrating on.

“Getting a win and keeping England’s unbeaten run going from 2012 is a big thing.

“You want to go into any game with confidence and going into the World Cup we know we will have a lot of skill and ability in the squad but going into that competition off the back of a win against the Exiles will be a good boost for the whole group.”

Tickets for the 2013 International Origin Game, England v Exiles at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, cost from just £20 (£15 students and OAPs, £10 concessions) and are now on sale from the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or online at www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk/ Tickets can also be purchased from the The Halliwell Jones Stadium Ticket Office.