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Page last updated at 07:14 GMT, Friday, 25 April 2008 08:14 UK

Peacock tips Fielden to find form

By Paul Fletcher

Stuart Fielden in action for club side Wigan
Fielden was left out of the Great Britain squad in 2007

Jamie Peacock is backing fellow forward Stuart Fielden to regain his form ahead of this year's World Cup in Australia.

Prop Fielden was left out of the Great Britain squad that defeated New Zealand 3-0 in their 2007 series after a poor season for his club Wigan Warriors.

Leeds star Peacock told BBC Sport: "He needs to realise he is a strong bloke and then get hold of the ball more.

"It would be great if he got his form back. When Stuart is playing as well as he can then he is a fantastic player."

Peacock and Fielden were team-mates at Bradford from 1999 until 2005, when the former decided to join home-town club Leeds Rhinos.

But while Peacock has gone from strength to strength, captaining Great Britain to their series whitewash of the Kiwis as well as being named the best forward in the world in 2006 and 2007, Fielden has endured a difficult time for club and country.

I think British rugby league is in good hands and I think it is good for the future

Jamie Peacock

But Peacock thinks Fielden, who joined Wigan for a world record transfer fee of about 450,000 in 2006, is showing welcome signs of improvement.

"Stuart needs to get his confidence back," said the Rhinos star, who came face to face with his rival in a Super League game on 5 April.

"I felt that against Leeds he was a lot more like his normal self - he carried the ball a lot more than he has been doing lately.

"Hopefully he will keep doing that and it will snowball. It would be good to have him back in the set-up for England."

Meanwhile, Peacock, who admitted in his autobiography that he considered retiring from Test rugby after the 2006 season, says his hunger for international success is still as strong as ever.

And he also believes the future looks very rosy for England thanks to the number of good, young players coming through.


"I was probably a bit worried during 2004 and 2005 that there were not enough talented young players coming through, but there are an abundance of them now," he said.

"The likes of James Roby, James Graham, Sam Burgess and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook - they are four names straight off the top of my head, they are all British and the oldest is 22."

Peacock also believes the senior faces will have a lot to offer at this year's World Cup, which starts on 25 October.

"A key factor in our favour is that a few of us have been together for a long time, the likes of myself, Adrian Morley, Leon Pryce, Paul Wellens, Keith Senior, Martin Gleeson and Gareth Ellis," he said.

"We all know each other and there is probably more of a club feel about the team at the moment, more than there has been. I think that showed last year."

Jamie Peacock's autobiography No White Flag, published by The History Press, is available now.

see also
Peacock dares to dream
25 Apr 08 |  Leeds
Fielden left out of Britain squad
09 Oct 07 |  Rugby League
I was rubbish for Lions - Fielden
28 Nov 06 |  International
GB forward Fielden battling grief
07 Nov 06 |  Rugby League
Mason gets one-game ban for punch
06 Nov 06 |  Rugby League
Australia 12-23 Great Britain
04 Nov 06 |  Rugby League
Fielden seeks winning formula
20 Sep 07 |  Wigan


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