From Richard Jones in London
Papua New Guinea has been handed a tough assignment in this weekend's first round fixture in the 2008 rugby league World Cup. The Kumuls have been matched up against England in Townsville for their World Cup opener.
Rugged forward Adrian Morley, the England vice-captain, was asked for his thoughts on the match - and an overview of the World Cup - by reporters for London's Metro paper, one of two free morning giveaways in the UK capital. "Papua New Guinea should be a relatively easy opener for England, shouldn't they," Morley was asked. "No, not at all," replied England's enforcer. "We will have to be at the top of our game and can't afford to be complacent. We don't know much about them and will have to give them our fullest respect or else we could come unstuck.
"We also have to remember they will be more used to the hot, humid conditions although hopefully we will have acclimatised by then. But if you start looking ahead to the other teams down the line you will run into difficulties," said Morley.
The prop forward or second rower played for the Sydney Roosters for five years in Australia's NRL. Currently he's on the Warrington Wolves' roster in England and has also played with the Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls. To simulate the north Queensland climate Morley said the England players had completed conditioning in heat chambers in preparation for Townsville.
"I think we will be very well prepared," Morley said. "People adapt in different ways. No one is the same, so it's difficult to judge how each individual will come to terms with the changes to their body," the big forward added.
Morley said he'd enjoyed watching August's Olympic Games from Beijing. "The success of British athletes made me enormously proud and I especially enjoyed taking money off my Aussie teammates when we won more medals overall than they did."