NRL 10 months ago

Kangaroos take leave before England clash

  • Kangaroos take leave before England clash

    PERTH, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 15: Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis, Matt Scott, Trent Merrin and Shannon Boyd of Australia line up for the Australian national anthem during the International Rugby League Test match between the Australian Kangaroos and the New Zealand Kiwis at nib Stadium on October 15, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Australia coach Mal Meninga has rewarded his Kangaroos players with three days off following their undefeated start to the Four Nations campaign.

Fresh from beating New Zealand 14-8 at Coventry, the squad departed their Birmingham base for London on Sunday ahead of next week's clash with England at the Olympic Stadium (0100 Monday, AEDT).

Several of the squad have flown out to Barcelona for a short break with other players staying in the British capital to catch up with friends and family.

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The squad will reassemble at a training facility near Twickenham, used by Michael Cheika and his Wallabies last week, on Wednesday to prepare for what's shaping up as potential thriller against England.

Wayne Bennett's side must beat Australia to have any chance of qualifying for the final at Anfield on November 20.

But their job will become even harder if New Zealand chalk up a huge winning margin against Scotland on Friday in Workington.

If that were to happen it could see the hosts still go out on points differential even with a narrow success over the Kangaroos, who must also win to lock up their place in the decider.

Meninga lit the touch paper for a potentially explosive encounter with a withering attack on Bennett in his recent column in the Courier Mail newspaper.

However, the former Queensland mentor played down the significance of the pair locking horns and wouldn't be trapped into writing off England despite their underwhelming 38-12 win over the Scots.

"I thought they knew they were going to win the footy game and Scotland took it to them early," Meninga said.

"I think halftime was a blessing for them. Wayne would have got them off their backsides and they started to compete a bit better.

"It's not about me and him. It's about the teams. He'll want to have his English side very well prepared and it's the same here.

"At the end of the day it comes down to the players and what they do on the footy field."

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