Young Poms would make NRL - Ellis
- By Christian Nicolussi
- From: The Sunday Telegraph
- May 09, 2010 12:01AM
ENGLISH duo Gareth Ellis and Mark Flanagan have identified the young Poms they believe would make an immediate impact in the NRL.
And a day after watching Australia and New Zealand lock horns in the Test, Ellis said more of his countrymen needed to play in the NRL to help England win the 2013 World Cup and remove the belief the “Aussies are unbeatable”.
“The biggest battle for English players is how highly we regard Australians as rugby league players - I think it has a mental effect on them,” Ellis said.
“But me being out here, you realise they make the same mistakes and miss the same tackles. Unfortunately it’s taken me until I’m 26 or 27 to get that mentality and know we can match it with them.”
Ellis listed exciting St Helens halfback Kyle Eastmond and Joe Tomkins, a back-rower from Wigan, as players who would handle the speed of the NRL. He would also love to see veteran Jamie Peacock play one season in Australia.
“He’s probably one player who has regrets about not coming here and testing himself,” Ellis said of the British skipper.
Tigers team-mate Flanagan, who has quickly settled into the club, said the English players with fitness and speed would best adapt.
Sean O’Loughlin, James Graham, James Roby and English halfback Sam Tomkins were just some of the players who would make it.
“James Graham has done well on the international scene and is really fit, and there are a couple of lads at Wigan, including Sean O’Loughlin and James Tomkins. They’re two good back-rowers whose game would be suited here. The NRL is more technical and you need a higher work rate, and that would suit them.”
Ellis said he would love to return for England’s June 12 international against France. However, he said he would respect any decision the Tigers made. English coach Steve McNamara is yet to ask about a release.