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Kangaroos halfback Cooper Cronk expects Daly Cherry-Evans to play against England but admits their combination isn't yet where it needs to be.
Kangaroos halfback Cooper Cronk expects Daly Cherry-Evans, who went off injured in the team's opening Four Nations loss to New Zealand, to take his place in the side tomorrow.

However the senior playmaker was pragmatic when it came to the pair's lack of quality time alongside each other in the halves, admitting the situation is "not perfect".

With the Kangaroos having dug a hole for themselves with a disappointing 30-12 loss to the Kiwis in their first game, they must find a way to climb out of it when they face England in a must-win game on Sunday.

Defeat for the Kangaroos would spell an end to their Four Nations campaign and leave them watching the final of an international tournament from the couch for the first time since 1954.

England will be desperate to spoil the green and gold party and can all but cement their place in the final after scraping past Samoa 32-26 last week.

The visitors were humiliated on home soil in 2011 Four Nations final, as Australia romped to a 30-8 victory in Leeds, and will be looking to extract some revenge at AAMI Park. This time around all the pressure will be on the Kangaroos and the host nation is well aware of it.

"That is the reality of it, we are not going to shy away from it," Cooper Cronk said.

"We are in this together, no matter your experience or lack thereof, the reason you've been picked to play for Australia is because you can play the game of rugby league. 

"You're a very good player at State of Origin and club level so don't be afraid, go out and showcase your skills, do what you've been picked for and let's go out and represent Australia."

Cronk said he expects to line up alongside halves partner Daly Cherry-Evans, with all eyes on the Manly halfback this week as he recovers from a hip injury suffered in the loss to the Kiwis.

Furner expects Cherry-Evans to play

Cherry-Evans moved well during Saturday's captain's run and did not appear hampered by the injury that restricted him to just 36 minutes in the tournament opener.

However Cronk does admit the pair's lack of playing experience together had hindered their cohesion on game day.

"It's fine, it's not perfect," Cronk said.

"We would love to spend more time together and play a lot of football but the situation is that his role has been different the last few years.

"But this is his opportunity, he's been waiting a long time to have a crack at a position that he prefers to play. So he is obviously very excited.

"He wants to play well, he wants to make up for what happened last week but that combination won't be the result of our bad performances."

Cronk will line up opposite former Storm teammate Gareth Widdop when the two countries lock horns tomorrow at AAMI Park.

Australia coach Tim Sheens was present at Saturday's training session despite missing Friday's media conference due to illness.

Both countries will wear heritage jerseys on Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Rorke's Drift test match that England famously won 14-6 at the SCG.

Kickoff is at 4pm on Sunday at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
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