FIVE weeks of the finest rugby skills and some of the biggest collisions in sport are about to be served up and I can’t wait.
As a massive Rugby League fan, I’m biased, but as the fastest and toughest team game there is, the start of the Rugby League World Cup on Friday is as good as it gets.
We should also recognise that England have a great chance to win the tournament and be crowned World Champions on 2nd December.
The undoubted favourites will be Australia and we will get a measure of their relative form when England face them in the opening fixture on Friday morning (10.00 am live on BBC2).
HALL FOR WON Ryan Hall says Rugby League World Cup glory for England comes before more try-scoring heroics
Defeat should not de-rail the progress of either side, though it could provide a really big psychological edge should the sides meet in the knockout stages.
In the big SunSport preview planned for Thursday I will look in more detail at the match-up with Australia, though the tournament is much more than England versus the current holders.
New Zealand are another powerhouse and they edged England by just a point when the sides met in the Ladbrokes Four Nations tournament last October.
Though going into this competition the Kiwis will have to contend with the loss of some big players.
The likes of Jesse Bromwich, Kevin Proctor, Tohu Harris, Kieran Foran and Issac Luke will all be difficult to replace.
I expect it to be the most competitive World Cup ever seen.
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Scotland performed well last autumn and I expect Wales and Ireland to wear their national shirts with pride, though I believe some of the Polynesian sides will do very well and possibly create some major upsets.
Some Australian and New Zealand based players will line-up for Tonga and Samoa.
As they do in any form of rugby, the athletes bring speed, good handling and ferocity to the game.
If they can gel as a side and cope if they lose a couple of frontline players then Tonga especially could be a force to be reckoned with.
Certainly the New Zealand versus Tonga clash is eagerly anticipated and could determine the winner of Group B.
I am not with the England squad as they finalise preparations in Perth though I have kept in touch and the group seem relaxed, in great shape, and at ease with one another.
Coach Wayne Bennett is clear that this squad has the skills to go far and I for one agree with him 100 per cent.
Kevin Sinfield is speaking on behalf of Kingstone Cider, the Official Cider of Rugby League.
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