The last of the home nations to get the nutlax.com treatment is England…and since they start their world champs campaign tonight.... they get it now…
This England team, more so than Wales even, has
been in the making for at least 3 years. When Head Coach Matt Bagley hung up his
helmet following the 2010 Worlds in Manchester, few expected that he’d be the new head coach of the team in less than a year. “Baggers”, as he’s affectionately known by pretty much everyone, made no secret that he viewed the 2012 European Championships as the start of his preparation for this summer’s Worlds; a fact borne out by the fact that 16 of this summer’s 23 were in that squad in Amsterdam.
England will face the stiffest test of all the home nations with their spot in the Blue Division. USA and Canada are to a certain extent known quantities and will more than likely be a step too far for the English lads. The Iroquois are a somewhat unknown quantity after missing the Manchester games, but with their trademark offensive power now coupled with more defenders with NCAA Division 1 experience, they will be a much stronger prospect than they were in London (Ontario) in 2006.
Australia remain England’s nemesis, and to attain that precious top 4 finish England will need to get their first competitive win over the “Sharks”, and get back on top of Japan.
The Iroquois will be just the first game they need to get into the swing of the tournament, and get a good performance on the board. This squad is the best prepared of all England squads to date, and realistically has the best chance of making that top 4 spot its own.
Previews, match reports and general musings from the Toon and beyond.