x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Higham is confident England can progress

England's confidence may be low but according to their hooker Mickey Higham, the team are not ready to give up on their World Cup dream.

Mickey Higham believes England can still reach the final of the World Cup despite their poor form in the group stages.
Mickey Higham believes England can still reach the final of the World Cup despite their poor form in the group stages.

BRISBANE // England's confidence may be low after losing to New Zealand in their final group game last Saturday, but according to their hooker Mickey Higham the team are not ready to give up on their dream. Tony Smith's side face the Kiwis again this Saturday in the semi-finals and Higham says the squad can bounce back and book their place in the final. "There is still a lot of belief in this team," he said.

"There are still two more weeks out here yet, definitely. There are probably a lot of people out there rubbing their hands, saying England have no chance but we know we've got a great chance." Having already been beaten by hosts Australia earlier in the tournament, it was the manner of the loss to New Zealand that most hurt England. They let slip a 24-8 lead as they allowed the Kiwis to score 28 unanswered points to end up losing 36-24.

Higham said: "We were disappointed because we know we're better than that. "We should have played smart and snuffed them out of the game. They got their heads up, got on a bit of a roll and showed what they can do.We know we're capable of delivering better than that." With the exception of prop Maurie Fa'asavalu, who has a broken hand, Smith should have a full strength squad to select from for the match.

* PA Sport