4NTV Stuart Pearce believes in England RL
England Under-21s football manager Stuart Pearce believes England Rugby League have what it takes to win their first major honours in nearly 40 years, when the 2011 Gillette Four Nations gets underway this weekend.
Pearce, 49, who was recently appointed the Head coach of Team GB football team for the London 2012 Olympics, was Steve McNamara's guest at England's final training session before facing Wales in their opening game of the 2011 Gillette Four Nations at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday, kick off 2.30pm.
Affectionately known as 'Psycho', the former England legend who played 78 times for the national side, is a strong advocate of Rugby League and is confident that England can topple favourites Australia and current holders of the Four Nations New Zealand to win the coveted tournament.
"England have a fantastic opportunity of winning this tournament," said Pearce.
"I am a relatively newcomer to Rugby League, but from a professional point of view you can see that Steve McNamara is building something very special with the England team.
"They will be in for a stern test against Australia and New Zealand and Wales will also add something to the tournament. If England can play to their full potential they will go very close to achieving some fantastic success."
The former Nottingham Forest defender and England captain has enjoyed some of the biggest Rugby League occasions of the year and was privileged to attend this year's Carnegie Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium. He admires the athletes but more importantly has become a fan of the sport and is regular viewer of the Super League on Sky Sports.
"Rugby League is a breathtaking sport and it is an honour to watch the England players train," added Pearce.
"I've been to a few games over the past 12 months and I love the sport. It has everything from finesse, speed and strength. Once you watch it you do become a fan of it. I used to watch rugby union and played it as a kid. Even though it has its merits Rugby League is, by far, a better sport to watch.
"I will be at Wembley next week supporting England will try and watch every England game on the television throughout the tournament -- it should be a cracker!"
Along with watching the players train, Pearce also presented shirts to the 17 players selected to play against Wales in a special presentation at the England team hotel.
England start their Gillette Four Nations campaign on Saturday October 29 when they take on Wales at Leigh Sports Village (2.30pm) with tickets priced at just £10 adults and £5 concessions.
The tournament moves to Wembley Stadium on Saturday November 5 when Wales face New Zealand at 1.00pm before England clash with Australia at 3.30pm.
England's remaining game against New Zealand will be played at the KC Stadium in Hull on Saturday November 12 (6.00pm) and tickets are priced from £20 adult and £10 concession.
The 2011 Gillette Four Nations final will be played at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday November 19 (6.00pm) and tickets are priced from £20 Adult and £10 concession.
Tickets for the 2011 Gillette Four Nations can be purchased by calling 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk