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Page last updated at 18:03 GMT, Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Cunningham says England are ready

Kieron Cunningham
Cunningham misses the World Cup following international retirement

St Helens hooker Kieron Cunningham believes England enter their World Cup match against Australia in Melbourne on Sunday as equals.

The former Great Britain hooker told BBC Radio Merseyside: "I genuinely feel our game is on a level par with theirs.

"This is the best touring side we have taken over there in a long time, consistently throughout the squad.

"We're on their turf and we've got to let them know that we are not here for a holiday."

England take on the tournament favourites on the back of an opening 32-22 win against Papua New Guinea.

You can see the potential England have got there and they scored some fantastic tries

Kieron Cunningham

Cunningham feels Tony Smith's men did all that could be expected of them in Townsville.

"All they seemed to be missing was a bit of rhythm. You can see the potential they've got there and they scored some fantastic tries."

Welshman Cunningham, who has now retired from International rugby league, has dismissed suggestions in the Australian press that England are there for the taking.

"It's a joke isn't it? The Aussie press are unbelievable. I mean they've been giving us stick for the Olympic Games.

"They don't like losing to England, basically that's what it is."

see also
Calderwood set to face Australia
29 Oct 08 |  Rugby League

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