RLWC 2013: Steve McNamara "a way off" finalising England squad

By Phil CartwrightBBC North West Sport

England head coach Steve McNamara has insisted there is still plenty of time for players to force their way into his World Cup plans.

three weeks after the conclusion of the Super League season.

McNamara told BBC North West Sport: "We're a way off finalising the squad.

"We've got a fair idea of the players that are potentially going to be part of our group, but there are always one or two that come in from nowhere."

He continued: "Look at Chris Hill. He came from nowhere last year.

"He was playing for Leigh in the Championship, then he started playing for Warrington, he got in the Dream Team, he got into the England team and

England have just two warm-up games before the World Cup, the first

The second, against unconfirmed opponents on 19 October, takes place seven days before England play their opening pool fixture against Australia.

With the tournament commencing shortly after a punishing Super League season, McNamara is bracing himself for the loss of some key names before he announces his final party on 1 October.

The former Bradford Bulls coach added: "We're foolish if we think we'll get through to the end of the season and everyone will be available. That doesn't happen because the competition's too tough.

"It's that balance between tearing into each other, to create that pressure on each other in game situations, and we need them to be looked after by their clubs as well.

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"Hopefully, with a bit of luck, we'll come out with no injuries."

Speaking at the launch of the new domestic campaign in Manchester, McNamara said it was vital the in order to give him the best chance of leading England to World Cup glory.

"It's imperative," he said. "We've got a lot of things within our programme to give our players the best chance of performing in the World Cup.

"But without doubt, the best way of improving our chances is by the players really tearing into each other and creating a very good Super League competition. That will improve them out of sight.

"Hopefully they get handed over to us in October and they're ready to play."

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