England’s hopes of causing an upset in their World Cup opener against Australia have taken a blow after Tim Sheens revealed Greg Inglis is fit and raring to go.
The South Sydney star nursed a knee injury in the final stages of the NRL season Down Under, a problem which saw his performance levels drop below his usual impeccable standards.
However, after almost a month off, Inglis appears to have fully recovered from the torn posterior cruciate ligament he sustained in State of Origin game three.
“He’s running freely and I thought he finished with Souths pretty strongly,” said Australia coach Sheens.
Inglis is just one of a host of high-class players in an Australia squad that are hot favourites in the rugby betting to return home with the World Cup.
However, his record against England means he is likely to get special attention at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. The 26-year-old has scored in five successive Tests against Australia’s old rivals, with eight tries in seven matches in all.
Inglis should start at centre in the curtain-raiser, his usual position for Australia. He has become used to playing at full-back for the Rabbitohs but that spot in the national side belongs to Billy Slater.
Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith has warned England they will have to do something special to stop Inglis, a man for the big occasion.
“He’s a world-class player and has been for a long time,” Smith said. “I think he really likes the big stage, he performs well every time he pulls on Maroons jersey, every time he’s got a Kangaroos jersey on. Let’s hope he fires up for this first game and we can get him on a roll again.”
People who bet on rugby with bet365 know that Australia head into the tournament desperate to make amends for a shock defeat by New Zealand in the 2008 final.