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Beating England a 'tough ask" Bromwich

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/10/2016 By Ian Laybourn

Jesse Bromwich © Getty Images Jesse Bromwich New Zealand captain Jesse Bromwich is calling on his fellow forwards to prepare for a brutal assault from the England pack in the Four Nations opener.

Bromwich was in the Kiwis team beaten 2-1 by England in their Test series in 2015 and admits the return of Sam Burgess from his spell in rugby union has added to the size of their task in Huddersfield on Saturday.

"Sam is an outstanding player, someone I used to look up to when I watched the Kiwis play England a few years back," Bromwich said.

"I've played against him a few times now and he's a tough competitor. He's very aggressive, the whole forward pack is impressive. It's a tough ask."

Tournament defending champions New Zealand have lost their last three matches and scored just six points in their two meetings with Australia this year.

However, head coach David Kidwell, who takes charge for the second time following the departure of Stephen Kearney, believes he has solved those problems.

"We've addressed that in training and we've put it into action," said Kidwell after putting his team through their final training run at the John Smith's Stadium on Friday afternoon.

"We've prepared well this week and we're looking forward to what is going to be a big challenge tomorrow in front of a sold-out crowd.

"I'm sure some of the boys that haven't experienced an English crowd will be looking forward to enjoying it."

Kidwell is acutely aware of the threats posed by the eight-strong NRL contingent in England's 17 and says he has done his homework on the Super League-based players.

"Its a really strong competition over here," he said.

"Mixed in with some NRL players, it's a very dangerous pack and team."

The losers on Saturday will face an uphill battle to reach the final and Bromwich concedes the game has a semi-final feel to it.

"We'll definitely be better for that run we had (in Perth). We've had some really good training sessions and worked on the things that let us down. Hopefully we've worked hard enough to fix them up."

Bromwich was a member of the side that lifted the Four Nations title for the second time with victory over the Kangaroos in Brisbane two years ago and insists they will not relinquish their hold on the trophy without a fight.

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