1 Nov 2014

England Australia's greatest rivals: Smith

2:11 pm on 1 November 2014

The Kangaroo's skipper Cameron Smith rates Australia's rugby league rivalry with England greater than the one with New Zealand ahead of Sunday's must-win Four Nations clash.

Sean O'Loughlin and Cameron Smith

Sean O'Loughlin and Cameron Smith Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Kangaroos need to defeat England at AAMI Park to keep their tournament hopes alive, in a clash that commemorates the 100-year anniversary of Rorke's Drift Test in Sydney when a British team, reduced to 10 men, won the deciding Test 14-6.

The Anzac Test between New Zealand and Kangaroos has become a regular feature of the Australian season, but Smith believes the trans-Tasman rivalry is shaded by that enjoyed between England and Australia.

"I really enjoy playing against England, probably more so than the Kiwis, it just seems there is a little bit more tradition between Australia and England," Smith said.

"To be able to play in front of a Victorian crowd in such a big Test wearing the heritage jumpers, it is a big occasion.

"For the team it is a huge challenge, we are playing against a very good football side and we are backs to the wall.

"If we don't win this one we will be out of the competition so we want to make sure we play well and give ourselves a chance of being there at the end."

If England do topple Australia, the Kangaroos will miss the final of a major tournament for the first time since the 1954 world cup.

Meanwhile, the Canterbury youngster David Klemmer is set to make his Australian Test debut on Sunday.

The Kangaroos are looking to beef up their side after being outgunned up front in their Four Nation loss to New Zealand last week, for the must-win clash against England.

The Kangaroos face a massive England pack including James Graham and Tom and Luke Burgess.

With only one recognised prop in the side in Aaron Woods, Klemmer is set to be called onto the bench to combat England's grunt up front.

Kangaroos assistant coach David Furner said the Bulldogs forward Klemmer would add some size to the smaller Australian pack.

"He is a good chance of playing big Dave, a very good chance," Furner said.

"We haven't finalised the bench, we need to look at that, and it has obviously been in heavy discussion with the coaching staff and the senior players as well just to see what is going to be the best make up.

"It would be great, he is a big body and obviously James Graham plays alongside him and he would certainly command that respect."