17 Nov 2022
Clausells: England need more than brilliant Brown to win final
France will take on England for the third successive wheelchair Rugby League World Cup final on Friday night
By Josh Graham at Manchester Central
France captain Gilles Clausells claimed England superstar Jack Brown cannot win the wheelchair Rugby League World Cup final on his own as his team prepare to fight fire with fire on Friday night.
Clausells has overseen a virtually flawless campaign from the reigning back-to-back champions, who topped their group with ease before seeing off Australia 84-40 to make their third successive final.
Brown scored eight tries in England’s 125-22 semi-final hammering of Wales and is the competition’s all-time record scorer with 52 but Clausells insisted Les Chanticleers have plenty of threats to be wary of when they take on the hosts at Manchester Central.
Clausells said: “Jack Brown is a very, very good player and what he is doing for wheelchair rugby league is phenomenal.
“We know Jack and we are obviously going to have to mark him but others as well. He can’t win the World Cup on his own.
“We’ve got some very good players of our own like Jeremy Bourson. It is going to be about fighting fire with fire tomorrow.”
Brown and Bourson have scored 15 tries apiece at this tournament but France’s Mostefa Abassi leads the way with one more while England can also call upon the experience of their most-capped player Joe Coyd, who has crossed the line 12 times.
Coyd’s elder brother Tom coaches the wheelchair side, who are the last remaining England team in the three competitions after both the men and women suffered semi-final heartbreak.
And they will have a raucous home crowd roaring them on with the 5,000-seater arena sold out but opposing captain Clausells insists his side will have no problem blocking out the noise as long as they can still hear each other.
He added: “The crowd is an element to consider, there will be lots of people and lots of noise.
“We hope we will be able to communicate effectively between our teammates in order to execute the game plan we want to put in place tomorrow night.”
This is the third consecutive final between these teams with France winning the previous two by just two and four points respectively.
England will be bidding to finally dethrone the sport’s founders in Manchester, but Clausells believes his side just need to focus on themselves and will take a win by any margin to lift the trophy again.
He explained: “If we win by one point, that will be enough for me. Obviously, that is less than before but I’d be happy with just the one.
“We need to play our own style of play and do what we know how to do well. We appreciate that England are the opposition but we have just got to do what we can do well.”
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets