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Hodgson tips Aust Four Nations league loss

Press AssociationPress Association 10/11/2016 Ian Laybourn

Canberra NRL hooker Josh Hodgson is convinced England can end a 10-year wait for a home win over Australia when they meet on Sunday in London.

Not one of Wayne Bennett's 24-strong squad know what it is like to beat Australia, whose last defeat by anybody but New Zealand was in 2006 when Ricky Stuart's men went down to Brian Noble's Great Britain in the Tri-Nations Series in Sydney.

Hodgson, coming off the back of a stellar NRL season with Stuart's Raiders, believes the class of 2016 is good enough to end that barren run.

"It's been a long time but this is a different team to the teams that have been and gone," he said.

"We know if we are at our best, we can get the job done. We're not too worried about the opposition - we're looking at ourselves."

England left themselves with an uphill battle by losing first up to New Zealand and struggling to overcome minnows Scotland.

"It's a must-win for us, in terms of where we are in the tournament," Hodgson said. "It's a massive game.

"We were pretty disappointed last week with the performance we put in against Scotland but we've looked at that and moved on.

"We've come back into camp full of energy and buzzing, which is what we needed going into such a big game."

Bennett is resisting the temptation to make wholesale changes and Hodgson insists the team are not far away from clicking into gear.

"It's just a few little areas where we need to improve," he said. "I don't think it's anything too drastic or too major.

"A lot of it comes down to communication. We got lost a couple of times at the weekend and went away from our game plan.

"Sometimes, when you do that, you can look a long way off but it's the small things that make a big difference in these games."

In Brisbane coach Bennett, England have a man with heaps of inside knowledge of the opposition, while Hodgson is likely to be one of eight NRL-based players in his line-up, with James Graham (Canterbury) and Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra) set to return after sitting out the Scotland game.

Hodgson is aware that even an England victory at the Olympic Stadium might not be enough to take them through to the Anfield final, with points difference the deciding factor if the big three teams are level on wins.

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