England have succeeded in breaking down club barriers as they continue their build-up to the 2013 World Cup, according to Leeds scrum-half Rob Burrow.
A rift between players from 2008 Grand Finalists Leeds and St Helens was partly blamed for England's failure at the last World Cup but Burrow says spirits are sky high ahead of Saturday's international against France, which is a dress rehearsal for next Sunday's final.
"We soon put the club thing to bed," Burrow said. "We're all England now. Many of the players you batter week in, week out are now our team-mates so we're focusing on team England."
Burrow hailed the recent 10-day training camp in South Africa as a notable success and points to the friendship forged by Wigan's Josh Charnley and his Leeds team-mate Zak Hardaker, who have produced bumper YouTube figures with their zany film-making during the camp at Loughborough University, as evidence of the harmony within the squad.
He added: "It's a great camp. There are some really close mates, you just have to look at Zak and Josh, who are best buddies, and I think that's the mentality of this camp,
"Everybody is having a great time. We're working and learning so much but in the off time we're really gelling and that's only going to help England."
Burrow's comments are supported by centre Leroy Cudjoe, who is Huddersfield's only representative in Steve McNamara's 24-man squad.
"There is a special spirit amongst the England players," Cudjoe said. "Since Steve McNamara took over, the bond between players is very good. It is like your second club team. Everyone gets on with each other and there are no issues.
"Being from Huddersfield and not having any of my team-mates in the squad, you have to make sure that you spend time with the other lads that you come across as opponents in the season.
"Everyone knows when to be serious but also we have a good laugh in each other's company."
- Sports & Recreation
- Rob Burrow