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Cordner braced for English forwards battle

AAP logoAAP 9/11/2016 Ian McCullough

Australia back-rower Boyd Cordner is excited about the prospect of taking on England's giant forwards in Sunday's crucial Four Nations encounter at London's Olympic Stadium (0100 Monday AEDT).

England must win the game to have any chance of securing a spot in the final at Anfield on November 20 with the Kangaroos also needing a victory to rubber stamp their place in the decider.

Aside from outstanding Warrington front-rower Chris Hill, all of the English forwards have NRL experience, headlined by the three Burgess brothers and Canterbury skipper James Graham.

Canberra duo Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead and recently-departed St George Illawarra forward Mike Cooper will also play and back-rower Cordner said he has huge admiration and respect for the English big men.

"Any side coached by Wayne Bennett is a tough team and we're going to have to prepare our best and play our best footy as well," Cordner said.

"They're captained by Sam Burgess who I think is one of the best players in the game and with him in their forward pack leading the way it's going to be a tough challenge.

"When the three of the Burgesses are on at the same time it's hard because they are big guys and they are hard to bring down.

"But it's something we are just going to have to deal with."

England lost their first match to New Zealand by a point and were less than convincing in a scratchy win against Scotland.

However, Cordner is expecting the hosts to be much-improved in front of what's expected to be a crowd of around 40,000.

"They have to win and we don't want to lose one," he said.

"They have some big boys and we have to slow down their middle and then hopefully shut down their strike out wide."

Most of the squad flew out to Barcelona on Sunday after the win against New Zealand for a short break and Cordner said it had been a welcome distraction on a long tour.

"It was good, we had a few days off and went sightseeing," he said.

"We saw the city a bit. It's good to do that kind of stuff and have a few days off to freshen up and get ready for this week's game."

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