By John Chelsea
Fresh from their comprehensive Game 2 defeat of the New Zealand side, the Great Britain Rugby League team in 2007 is one that is packing a decent punch.
So often in the past the media has tried to talk up the chances of the Lions just to get bums on seats in international games with Australia and New Zealand; but it seems this time they might just be the real deal.
It seems as the UK Super League continues to thrive and grow with the injection of new NRL players each year – the flow on effect is creating a giant force in the international game.
The likes of Jamie Peacock and Paul Wellens are certainly stamping their authority as genuine match winning stars. This time, the side seems to have quality in most departments however, where as in the past they may have relied on a single star.
The timing couldn’t be better, finally the Australian side will have a quality and worthy opponent for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup. The only remaining question is whether this Great Britain side can play their best Rugby League on foreign soil. With the 2008 World Cup being held in Australia – should the Lions take home the Rugby League World Cup; they will certainly have earned their stripes.
The stars too are starting to align. The speed and style of the UK Super League closely mirrors the NRL more these days and the Lions are conditioned to playing under Australian Referees; quickly getting familiar with the all important interpretations that may differ from their homeland.
As their confidence grows after two impressive defeats of New Zealand; the Tony Smith coached Great Britain Lions are certainly putting the Great back into Britain. Should they manage a 3 game whitewash of the Kiwi’s their confidence levels will be soaring and they have a genuine shot at the Rugby League World Cup Title in 2008.