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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 06:42 GMT 07:42 UK
Half-backs key for GB - Fielden
By Paul Fletcher

Stuart Fielden in action against New Zealand
Fielden saw important signs of cohesion against New Zealand
Prop Stuart Fielden says the half-back combination is vital to Great Britain's Tri-Nations chances later this year.

"They do your kicking and are effectively the rudder of your ship," he told BBC Sport. "We need to get that right like we did against New Zealand."

Stand-off Danny McGuire and scrum-half Sean Long teamed up to help the Lions crush New Zealand 46-14 in June.

They both scored a brace of tries at Knowsley Road, although the Tri-Nations champions were not at full strength.

"OK, it was not their best team but it was more about what we did," insisted Fielden.

"It was the first time in my eight-year GB career that we looked to have direction and cohesion.

"The halves did a great job for us, and if we can keep doing that we can match any of those teams because our forward pack is an equal of any of the other sides.

"We have had some decent halves in the past - Paul Deacon is a good player - but they never seemed to gel."

By my own recognition I have not performed well in a Great Britain jersey

GB scrum-half Sean Long
Deacon missed out on selection for the 25-man squad, with Leon Pryce, Richard Horne and Rob Burrow offering further half-back options alongside McGuire and Long.

Long, who like Fielden was named in the 2006 Super League Dream Team, agrees with his GB team-mate's assessment.

"Against New Zealand, Danny McGuire and I hit it off to a tee," said the St Helens star.

"We have a good understanding and it really worked well. Hopefully we can do it again in the Tri-Nations."

Long, who has just turned 30, is determined to show his true capabilities after a mediocre series of performances for Britain.

"By my own recognition I have not performed well in a Great Britain jersey," he added.

"Maybe it is a different role that I am playing or maybe I get overawed by the quality of players I am playing alongside.

"But if coach Brian Noble lets me play my normal game and lets me control the team like my coach Daniel Anderson has done at St Helens, then I'm sure I will do well because I'm behind a great pack."

We will get the chance to show the Aussies how good we are

Stuart Fielden
While Long prepares for his side's play-off campaign, which begins against Hull on Friday, Fielden finds himself in the unusual position of having completed his season.

But after helping Wigan avoid the drop from Super League, he is tipping St Helens to win the Grand Final.

"I cannot see past Saints, the other teams have been patchy at best," he said.

"I think outside of Saints we have been the next best team over the last three months - we smashed both Bradford and Hull.

"But the last time I finished this early I was 16. It is the first time I have had a rest before a Tri-Nations."

Fielden should be fully recharged by the time Great Britain leave for Australia in mid-October, and he is relishing the trip.

"It should be good," said the Wigan prop. "We will get the chance to show the Aussies how good we are.

"I don't think they take you seriously until they see it with their own eyes or you do it against their team."



SEE ALSO
Six new GB faces for Tri-Nations
25 Sep 06 |  International
Great Britain 46-14 New Zealand
27 Jun 06 |  International


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