'Fans are Key' says Ellis

England fans can lift us to victory over Australia – Ellis

Gareth Ellis has called on England fans to lift the team to victory and believes the unique atmosphere of a packed English stadium will provide a massive lift to England when they face Australia in the Gillette Four Nations at Wigan on Saturday.

The England forward is relishing his return to the DW Stadium for the first time in over a year since his move from engage Super League champions Leeds Rhinos to NRL club Wests Tigers.

“One thing I’ve missed about Super League is the noise an English crowd makes,” said Ellis, who proved a massive hit in his first season Down Under, where he was named Wests Tigers’ players of the year.

Ellis also made a big impression for England in the opening match of the Gillette Four Nations with a man-of-the-match award-winning performance in the 34-12 victory over France at Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, last Friday.

“The atmosphere was good at Doncaster but the noise level is going to be cranked up even higher on Saturday. It would be fantastic to play in front of a full house at Wigan,” he said.

“As an English player you are lifted when the crowd gets behind you. The atmosphere over here can be unsettling for the Australian players and I hope all our fans get behind us.”

Ellis is expecting Australia to produce a forceful response after they were held to a 20-20 draw by New Zealand at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday but is confident England have what it takes to compound the Kangaroos’ misery.

“The Aussies will be up for this one. I’ve read some of the coverage they have had back in Australia since Saturday and they haven’t been getting the best Press,” said Ellis.

“They will want to respond and get back to a performance they are satisfied with.

“Australia didn’t have any warm-up games coming into this competition and I think that showed at times against the Kiwis. They were a bit scratchy and their timing was out but they’ll have learned a lot from that and be better for it.

“We need to go up two or three levels and I’m confident we are capable of doing that.”

At 28, Ellis is one of the more senior and most experienced players in Tony Smith’s squad but the second row says he has been impressed by England’s young guns such as Richie Myler, Tom Briscoe, Kyle Eastmond and Sam Tomkins.

“It’s a new team and there are a few players who have never played international Rugby League at this level before. Now they are up against some of the best players in the world,” he said.

“It’s a massive step up for them but I do think they’re all more than capable of making that step up.

“When I came on to the international scene I was in awe of the players around me and it took me between five and 10 Test matches to get where I wanted to be. In fact I’m still not where I want to be.

“The young players aren’t in awe of anyone and have settled in really well. That’s good because they look like they’re going to be here for some time to come.

“Their enthusiasm is infectious and we’re all really looking forward to Saturday. The biggest challenge in Rugby League is to play against the best league-playing nation in the world.

“It’s a massive challenge and one everyone in the England camp believes we can meet,”

Tickets for Saturday’s Gillette Four Nations game between England and Australia at DW Stadium, Wigan (2.30 kick-off) are still available and prices start from £20.

To purchase tickets please call 0844 856 11 13 or visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk

Due to the planned postal strikes this week all tickets purchased after Tuesday lunchtime will not be posted out and will instead be available for collection from the DW Stadium ticket office on Saturday from 9am. Fans collecting tickets are advised to arrive early.
 

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