World Cup

Burgess: The Samoa talk was “warranted”

04 Nov 22, 4:40PM 0 Comments

Written by John Davidson

Photo by Getty Images

Tom Burgess says it is great for the World Cup to have the likes of Samoa and Tonga rising but insists England has the internal belief to win the World Cup.

The bookmakers had Samoa favourites against England in the tournament opener, but the hosts thrashed their Polynesian rivals in Newcastle.

England have gone on to big wins over France and Greece, to reach the quarter-finals.

Some in his side have claimed the hype around Samoa motivated them, but Burgess believes the talk around the Pacific nation pre-tournament was warranted.

“I know there wasn’t much belief in us before the tournament and there was a fair bit of talk that we might get beaten by Samoa,” the prop said.

“It’s been good to see we’ve got that internal belief and Shaun Wane’s been really good at that.

“It didn’t annoy me at all, it was great for the World Cup to have that talk about other nations and it was warranted.”

Burgess believes the belief within this current England team is what differs to national team squads in the past.

“There’s been a fair bit of time between World Cups and quite a few players have come and gone, so it’s a bit difficult to compare squads really,” he said.

“But we’ve got a really good belief in the camp this year. We had a good talk from a speaker and we spoke a lot about confidence and belief that we can play against the best in the world and compete.

“That’s the main thing, the belief.”

England face Papua New Guinea next and the South Sydney front-rower knows what to expect.

“I played for Great Britain against PNG in 2019 in Port Moresby, so we know what they’re going to bring. They’ll keep coming all day,” he said.

“We were ahead in that game for a while but they rolled us and we had a few people get injured and knocked out in that game, that’s maybe why we fell away.

“That’s what they’re going to bring. The quarter final in 2017 was a tough game [too].

“We’ve just got to keep sticking to our processes, no matter who comes in front of us.”

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