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Betts relishing RL role alongside Bennett

Press AssociationPress Association 16/08/2016 Ian Laybourn, Press Association Sport

Denis Betts compares his new role as England assistant coach to playing fantasy rugby league.

The former Wigan and Great Britain forward is combining his full-time job as head coach of Widnes with that of right-hand man to new England boss Wayne Bennett in the build-up to the end-of-season Four Nations Series and the 2017 World Cup down under.

The 46-year-old Betts, who won 36 international caps and gained 13 major honours during a glittering career with Wigan, admits his priority at the moment is the Vikings, where he recently signed a new long-term contract, but says that fits in nicely with his new job at the Rugby Football League.

"It's in the back seat but it's like most things when you are a coach, you watch the opposition teams and you are aware of the players they've got, the strengths of those players," he said.

"You think, 'what could they do in our team?' It's like fantasy rugby league that you play with yourself.

"I don't wear a different hat with it. I have an opinion on probably every single English player in the competition but I did before Wayne asked me to be his assistant so that's not changed.

"When I sit down with Wayne to put the squad together and he asks for my opinion, it will be built on years and years of evaluation and work as a rugby league coach."

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