England’s Jones-Buchanan eyeing special 12 months
England and Leeds Rhinos forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan believes success in the Autumn International Series will signal the beginning of a special 12 months for England Rugby League as they build towards Rugby League World Cup 2013.
England outclassed Wales 80-12 when they met last weekend and will be hoping for a repeat performance when they take on France at Hull’s MS3 Craven Park this Saturday (2.30pm) when Jones-Buchanan is keen to see fans from across the game show their support for the national side.
“This tournament is all about our World Cup aspirations,” said Jones-Buchanan. “It is an opportunity for us to hone in on our immense talent and get it right for a year’s time.
“We’re solely concentrating on how we can progress, improve as a team and continue to put the demands on ourselves so we are battled hardened and ready for next year when we go up against the best in the world.
“We showed some real quality against Wales but we have still plenty to work on and we will be looking to improve against France this week.
“The public will be in store for some strong England performances over the next couple of weeks and we hope to continue where we left off against Wales and it would be great to see fans from all clubs get across to Hull this weekend, and Salford the week after, to show their support and watch us rip into France.”
With the England Knights completing a comprehensive Alitalia European Cup campaign with a 62-24 victory over Scotland on Sunday, the pressure is on the senior England side to perform and Jones-Buchanan is all too aware of the talent coming through the ranks.
“We all have to perform now in this squad and no one has a divine right to have an automatic selection,” he said. “There is a healthy competitive environment within the camp and you have to be at your best otherwise you won’t get selected and the future is looking bright for the game in this country.
“There is a great team ethos in the dressing room and the days have gone where there were cliques in the dressing room - Steve McNamara has broken down those barriers and we are all as one and we all play for each other.
“It is very satisfying after going into battle that you come back in the dressing room and you rejoice as one and we’re focused on doing that again this weekend.”
Tickets for England v France, at MS3 Craven Park on Saturday November 3 and the final of the 2012 Autumn International Series at Salford City Stadium on Sunday November 11 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