Rugby League - Sheens warns England of Fiji threat

Australia have beaten both of them over the opening week of the World Cup and the Kangaroos are now tipping Fiji to give England a stern examination when they meet in Hull next Saturday.

PA Sport
Rugby League - Sheens warns England of Fiji threat

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Cameron Smith was impressed by Fiji's display.

Tim Sheens' side opened up their tournament with a rusty 28-20 win over England in Cardiff on October 26 before booking their quarter-final spot with a 34-2 success over Fiji in St Helens on Saturday night.

They face Group A whipping boys Ireland next, meaning that top spot in the group is almost certain, which puts England and Fiji in a two-way shoot-out for second place and an easier last-eight fixture.

Sheens and captain Cameron Smith have been up close and personal with both sides since landing in England and feel there is little to choose between them.

"If (Fiji) can play like that they'll give England a run for their money, I will tell you now. If the conditions are any better, better than they were, but England played very well (on Saturday) too," said Sheens, reflecting on a six-try success played amid torrid storms on Merseyside.

"Their completion rate was great, they kicked the ball in behind us a few times and (Australia full-back) Greg Inglis was cool under pressure. It will be a tough game next week and with them both having won one, they'll both need to win it and it will be a good one."

Smith was one of the lead names Sheens opted to select against Fiji, with Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater rested as other options were explored.

The hooker was not best pleased after the England game but felt his team-mates made the necessary improvements against a side he rated highly.

"They have got some quality players. They put 30 on Ireland last week and England put 40, so they're not far off," he said.

"They've got great skill, they're tough, are very disciplined with their ball control and we did a good job on them .

"We played England and the first time they got down our end they scored and we needed to improve on that. Our talk was very good, particularly in the ruck, the contact was good on the big boys and that was what we wanted."

Australia headed to Ireland on Sunday morning a man light, though, with second-rower Luke Lewis out of the tournament with a dislocated shoulder.

He smashed into an advertising board with 10 minutes to go and will wait in Manchester until the squad return from Limerick.

"Thank you for all your well wishes, scans tomorrow fingers crossed all ok! Lucky to have great team of staff and players around me," tweeted Lewis, who Sheens is waiting to see if he can replace.

"He is a huge loss both on and off the field," added Smith.

"He is a very important part of our squad and he's a bit of a character too. It's nice to have those characters around for a tour as long as this one.

"Luke was great off the bench against England and he's a wonderful footballer. He played very well against Fiji until he copped that injury and it's a real shame."

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