McNamara hails England camp under African skies
England coach Steve McNamara has hailed the national team’s 10-day high altitude camp to South Africa as a resounding success as England go into their final week of preparation ahead of their opening game of the Autumn International Series against Wales on Saturday October 27 at Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, kick off 2.30pm.
The England squad returned to the United Kingdom on Saturday morning after being put through their paces in an intense training camp at the NWU campus Potchefstroom in the North-West province of South Africa.
“The camp has had huge benefit for us,” said McNamara.
“It was good to get the full squad away and experience something different. The facilities in Potch were world class and the players have benefited from some cutting-edge training that is new to Rugby League. Training at our optimum levels in a high-altitude environment is very tough and the players have found it difficult but rewarding at the same time.
“We believe exposing the players to a new environment will give us a performance edge. This year is about fine tuning our preparation ahead of the Rugby League World Cup in 12 months time and we are on track.
“I expect the players to continue to set the high standards we strive for at international level in our final week of preparation before going into a Test Match against Wales on Saturday.”
After watching France beat Wales 20-6 in the opening match of the Autumn Internationals this weekend, McNamara believes his side will have a physical test against Wales in Wrexham.
“Even though they lost to France, Wales were very physical in defence and we expect something similar when they face us,” he said.
“Our objective is quite simple, we need to concentrate on our own game and make sure the things we worked on in South Africa come to fruition on the pitch. We spent a lot of time honing in our tactical and technical work during our field sessions and I want the players to replicate those high standards in the international arena.
“They worked tremendously hard and were professional in their approach. There is massive desire to be successful and we want to win the forthcoming series well. That will then set us up nicely for 2013 and the rewards that a World Cup can bring.
England’s opening match in the Autumn International Series will see them face Wales at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground in Wrexham on Saturday October 27 (2.30pm).
Their first ‘home’ fixture takes place a week later, Saturday November 3, at MS3 Craven Park in Hull when England host France in a match which also kicks off at 2.30pm.
The Autumn International Series concludes with the final at Salford City Stadium on Sunday November 11 (5.00pm).
Tickets for the 2012 Autumn International Series cost just £12 for adults and £6 concessions and can be purchased by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk