November 22, 2013
Sam Burgess is under no illusions that England will need to play a flawless game of rugby if they are to dethrone reigning champions New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup semi-final this weekend.
Burgess and England head to Wembley knowing their route to the final is blocked by the imposing force of New Zealand, who have brushed past Samoa, France, Papua New Guinea and Scotland on route to the final four.
The Kiwis are favourites to beat the hosts but will be wary of an England team yet to hit their peak in the competition.
And Burgess, who will be making his first appearance as a player at Wembley after visiting the iconic stadium as a Leeds Rhinos fan for the 1999 Challenge Cup final, is convinced England can prove to the champions that they are a force to be reckoned with on Saturday.
He told Sky Sports: “We respect the Kiwis 100%. We’ve got to work very hard. They are the reigning world champions. They’ve got some unbelievable players in the team.
“So we’re going to have to be at our best to win I think. Anything short of that and we probably won’t get the game. We’re aware of what’s at stake. We’ve got to do everything we can to prepare our best for the weekend.”
“The game plan is keep hold of the ball. Theirs will be the same. The more we turn it over the more chance we’re going to give them.
“We’re a quality team as they are. If we get things right we’ll give ourselves a great chance.”
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