England to play warm-up game in Perth ahead of World Cup opener
By Press Association
Last Updated: 14/05/17 1:07pm
England will play a warm-up game in Perth before their opening World Cup clash with Australia.
National team manager Jamie Peacock confirmed the fixture during a whistle-stop trip of the venues England will be using for the tournament later this year.
Coach Wayne Bennett will hold a 10-day training camp in Perth ahead of the opening game against the Kangaroos in Melbourne on October 28, during which his team will face a side from the Affiliated States Championship, a competition that comprises players from Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia.
England will then play group games in Melbourne and Sydney before returning to Perth to face France at the Rectangular Stadium, which will also host Wales v Ireland as part of a double-header on November 12.
"Perth is crying out for an NRL team," Peacock told his Ladbrokes blog. "There's a lot of expats here and a lot of support for rugby league.
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"Souths are playing Melbourne here next week, they've been playing games here for the last nine years and, speaking to the NRL development team, they absolutely want a team here.
"There's a billion-dollar stadium with a 60,000 capacity where we'll be playing France in a double header, and we'll be playing the Affiliated States here during our warm-up camp. The only problem will be that it will be 40 degrees."
Peacock stayed on in Australia after England's victory over Samoa in Sydney last Saturday to apply the finishing touches to their preparations for the World Cup.
"I've been to six airports in six days - Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Melbourne and Perth - to check out all the hotels, venues and training facilities we're going to be using in the World Cup and every possible route England could go down," he said.
"It's just making sure everything is right, all the t's crossed and i's dotted and everything is looking good."