After six weeks, the Rugby League World Cup is coming to a close. For some players, it also means they can finally rest up for the first time in almost a year. The World Cup produced arguably the most competitive instalment of an international rugby league tournament ever witnessed with the emergence of minnow nations Tonga, Fiji, Lebanon and Papua New Guinea.
Of course with the feel-good stories there are usually the bad luck tales and this year it was the Kiwis. New Zealand failed to make an impact in the tournament with the lowlight coming in their final Pool game against Tonga in which they were beaten by six points, followed by the shock quarter final loss to Fiji in a match where no tries were scored by either team.
UBET has a full range of markets available across the World Cup Final.
Saturday, December 2, 7:00pm (AEST) @ Suncorp Stadium
Australia heads into this encounter as the clear favourite to beat England for a second time in a World Cup Final. Australia’s 14th consecutive appearance in a World Cup Final comes after mauling Fiji last weekend in their semi-final by 54-6; a match in which flying winger Valentine Holmes became the first Aussie to score six tries in one Test. The Aussies have barely been challenged in the tournament with the only real test coming against England in their opening pool match.
England are yet to hit their straps with coach Wayne Bennett saying his team would not beat Australia if they play the way they did in their controversial semi-final win over Mate Ma’a Tonga. The loss of livewire rake Josh Hodgson is a cruel blow to Bennett’s plans; it will be interesting to see how James Roby handles 80 minutes at hooker without a recognised replacement on the bench.
AUSTRALIA: 1. Billy Slater 2. Dane Gagai 3. Will Chambers 4. Josh Dugan 5. Valentine Holmes 6. Michael Morgan 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Aaron Woods 9. Cameron Smith 10. David Klemmer 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Matt Gillett 13. Josh McGuire 14. Wade Graham 15. Jordan McLean 16. Reagan Cambell-Gillard 17. Tyson Frizell 18. Felise Kaufusi 19. Tom Trbojevic 20. Josh Mansour 21. James Maloney
ENGLAND: 1. Gareth Widdop 2. Jermaine Mcgillvary 3. Kallum Watkins 4. John Bateman 5. Ryan Hall 6. Kevin Brown 7. Luke Gale 8. Chris Hill 9. Josh Hodgson 10. James Graham 11. Sam Burgess 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Sean O'Loughlin 14. Alex Walmsley 15. Thomas Burgess 16. Ben Currie 17. James Roby 18. Jonny Lomax 19. Chris Heighington 20. Mark Percival 21. Scott Taylor.