FOMER Featherstone Lions player and Pontefract New College student Tom Briscoe (pictured) admits improving England will need to go up another gear if they are to beat Australia at Elland Road tomorrow but he insists they are capable of it.
England have built momentum throughout the Gillette Four Nations Series, culminating in last Saturday’s resounding 28-6 victory over holders New Zealand, and Briscoe says there is yet more to come as they prepare for tomorrow’s final in front of a sell-out crowd at Elland Road.
“Things are going well,” said 21-year-old Hull FC winger Briscoe..
“As a team, we’re performing pretty well and I think we can take a lot of confidence out of that performance at the weekend.
“Hopefully we take it into this week and get a win. We know we’ve still got to improve a lot to win this game but we think we’re capable of doing that with the squad we’ve got.
“In big games you need to step up and in finals you need to go to that special place where maybe you haven’t been before. We’ve been improving steadily and that’s been the main aim.”
England’s traditional strength has been in their pack but the emergence of Briscoe, Ryan Hall and Sam Tomkins as a world-class back three has provided a cutting edge, demonstrated by their contribution of 12 of the 22 tries scored by the team in four matches, including the warm-up international in France.
Hall took the plaudits in England’s 36-20 defeat by the Kangaroos at Wembley for his superbly-taken brace of tries which helped earn him a place on the Golden Boot shortlist but Briscoe has not been far behind.
“These past two games have been my best performances for England and hopefully I can carry that on and have a big game,” Briscoe added.
“With us all being so young as well, it bodes well for the future of the game in England.
“With Ryan getting nominated for the Golden Boot, it shows what kind of players we’ve got.
“It’s not just all about Australia and New Zealand. It’s nice to see wingers being nominated. It’s a great achievement for Ryan.”
Briscoe is certain to be part of a settled England back division but coach Steve McNamara has yet to finalise his pack and his bench, with second rower Gareth Ellis included in a 21-man squad after recovering from a back injury.