A couple of high-fives with twin brother Josh and a dream fulfilled – now Brett Morris is intent on widening the gulf between Australia and its challengers in the World Cup.
The St George Illawarra winger was included in Tim Sheens’ 24-man Kangaroos squad on Monday, with Bulldogs centre Josh also earning a spot for a maiden World Cup voyage.
They received the good news together via social media after returning to Sydney after a weekend getaway in Melbourne.
But it didn’t take Brett long to get back to business, claiming Australia’s main challengers in the rugby league World Cup, which starts on October 26, were hosts England and holders New Zealand. He said both nations would field their strongest sides in years.
The Kangaroos clash with England in the opener at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. Fiji and Ireland are the other two teams in Pool A.
”We’ve always been favourites and they’re probably going to have that tag on us again, but there’s definitely going to be some high-quality sides,” Morris said.
”It’s probably going to be the strongest World Cup in recent times.
”The English side … is probably the strongest side they’ve had in a very, very long time. The Kiwis won the last World Cup and they’ve got better since then, so we’re going to have to do our best if we want to beat both those sides.”
Australia slumped to a shock loss to New Zealand in the 2008 World Cup final at home, fuelling Ricky Stuart’s exit from the top job.
Morris made his Australian debut in 2009 and has been a fixture ever since. He said the bulk of the squad would still be motivated by that loss at Suncorp Stadium when they arrive in Britain next week.
”I think you could tell [that] by the way they talked about the games coming up and the feeling they were still hurting,” Morris said. ”But I think it’s more about excitement [now] and everyone’s very excited about the chance to play in a World Cup.
”Playing as a kid you always dream of playing in a World Cup.”
Australian squad: Bird, Boyd, Cherry-Evans, Cordner, Cronk, Farah, Fifita, Gallen, Hayne, Inglis, Jennings, Lewis, B. Morris, J. Morris, Myles, Papalii, Parker, Scott, Slater, Smith (capt), Tamou, Tate, Thaiday, Thurston.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.