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England coach Wayne Bennett.

A further influx of English players in the NRL won't help amend the country's problems on the international stage according to England coach Wayne Bennett.

Speaking in the aftermath of his team's 36-18 loss to Australia on Monday morning (AEDT), Bennett said the onus was on England's players to make improvements ahead of next year's World Cup.

The coach said fixing little problems – such as competing under pressure and positive game management – would go a long way towards allowing England to match Australia and New Zealand in the future.

The veteran master coach also mentioned England will face Samoa in May next year in a huge boost for the international game, while he said he wasn't in the appropriate mindset to comment on the futures of NRL players Trent Hodkinson, Blake Austin and Chris McQueen in the English side. 

"The NRL won't fix the problems. There are some quality players here and we just need to be better in some areas. The onus is on them," Bennett said.

"They have a whole season in front of them [before the World Cup].They have to make those changes. They know what they are. I can't do it.

"England are very capable of being a lot better than what they are right now. I know that much.

"They're a better team than what you all realise and the gap between them and the other countries isn't that big. The little problems we have are manifested by their club football."


Having kept a close eye on the Super League throughout 2016, Bennett said the problems he identified at a domestic level have emerged in the way England play. 

"I saw the same guys do the same things at club football this year and they get away with it at that level. You can't get away with it at this level. That's the difference at the moment," Bennett said. 

"It happened against and Australia and it happened against New Zealand. It's not commitment, not effort, not guys trying hard – it's all there. They just have to clean their act up. 

"They have to understand what beats them. They think the opposition beats them but they don't. These problems are insurmountable if they don't change their attitude and buy into what I think works because I know it won't work any other way.

"Australia has such an advantage because they have State of Origin. All the things they do out on the field is bred from that environment they play. England doesn't have that.

"We need to play against Australia and the Kiwis even more so we can hone our skills and get better under pressure. There's only so much you can do at training."

A key element of Bennett's first campaign as coach was his constant rotation of the team throughout England's three Tests.

Wigan utility John Bateman missed England's clash with Scotland as a result of Bennett's trial-and-error approach, one the 23-year-old said was best for the team. 

"He wanted to rotate the team to see what was best. There are pros and cons with that approach," Bateman said. 

"It's good to mix it up because everyone is gunning for the World Cup next year. Wayne knows what's best for the team. There's a method to the madness."

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