England vs New Zealand - Game 3 Preview

Sunday at a packed out Elland Road is a big opportunity for English rugby league to announce their presence as a world class team, and that’s not something we have been able to say for many years.

The Kiwis will be smarting after a two - zero series defeat so far and they will not be wanting a whitewash . This is a proud rugby league nation and this test match will be a tough, rough , fire and brimstone encounter.

The English forwards have dominated at key stages and the defensive line has been sensational. To be successful the kiwis will need to produce more from Shaun Johnstone who has been subdued or even neutralised by the tenacious line of white shirts facing him.

England being in Leeds scrum half Richie Myler who is likely to earn his eighth international cap and Stefan Ratchford and Joe Greenwood are also included.

George Burgess and Sam Tomkins will be missed and both have played important roles in this series win. Whether Myler can attract the same attention from the Kiwis remains to be seen .

New Zealand have now recorded six loses and a draw in their games outside of the land of the long white cloud dating all the way back to a four nations win over England in 2016.

coach Michael Maguire has dropped Marty Taupau whilst the dangerous Brisbane winger Jamayne Isaako replaces the injured Jordan Rapana .

Isaiah Papali’i is also likely to make his debut and this Auckland born twenty year old has a big future ahead of him.

What chances an English whitewash. Well England have dominated with Josh Hodgson, Elliot Whitehead , Luke Thompson and Tommy Makinson being especially influential. Makinson of course recently received the golden boot for his international displays this year, much to the dismay of some Australian commentators .

Sunday is a real opportunity for George Williams and Adam Milner to demonstrate their own skill set and of course centres Oliver Gildart and Jake Connor will want to build on their growing international pedigree .

Don’t forget that man Jermaine mcgilveray who has been so impressive in an England jersey. He has been as solid and reliable as ever but a few nice scores are likely to be on the cards for the Huddersfield man.

New Zealand have looked superb in patches, and that back line looks very dangerous. They will not want to suffer the slings and arrows of a 3-0 series defeat and I therefore expect them to take this game by 8-12 points .

England 19-man squad: Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Jake Connor, Oliver Gildart, Jermaine McGillvary, George Williams, Richie Myler, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, James Graham, John Bateman, Elliott Whitehead, Luke Thompson, Adam Milner, Tom Burgess, Joe Greenwood, Stefan Ratchford, Mark Percival, Reece Lyne.

New Zealand 19-man squad: D Watene-Zelezniak, L Ah Mau, G Beale, A Blair, J Bromwich, K Bromwich, J Fisher-Harris, J Hughes, J Isaako, S Johnson, I Liu, J Manu, E Marsters, K Maumalo, K Nikorima, I Papali'i, K Proctor, B Smith, J Tapine, J Waerea-Hargreaves.


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