Rugby League World Cup 2013: Saturday Predictions, Preview and Team News
The opening ties of the Rugby League World Cup are officially in the books, with the second round of Group A fixtures scheduled for Saturday.
Group A is effectively the marquee group, housing joint hosts England and tournament favourites Australia.
England kick off the next round of proceedings against Ireland before Australia tackle Fiji in the evening fixture.
Here's a look ahead to both matches.
England vs. Ireland (2:30 p.m. GMT)
England will be smarting from their opening defeat against Australia. While the outcome wasn't unexpected, the hosts sprinted away with a 10-0 lead before a devastating 18-minute spell either side of half-time ensured Australia claimed a 28-20 win.
England lost their concentration and Australia pounced; however, Steve McNamara's side will have to do spectacularly badly not to make the next stage.
Their squad has been named for the clash with Ireland, a match in which they will be expected to bounce back in style.
Sam Burgess misses out through suspension, after his high tackle on Sam Thaiday, per James Riach of the Guardian, while Lee Mossop and Josh Charnley are also omitted.
James Graham, Sean O'Loughlin and Tom Briscoe all come in, as reported by BBC Sport, which quotes McNamara as saying:
It gives us a chance to look at a couple of other members of the squad. It suits us to have a consistent selection from last week with a couple of tweaks.
We have 24 very good players and the additions to the squad this week will give us some impetus and freshness in the team.
Ireland are without Scott Grix, who will be replaced by James Mendeika, according to BBC Sport. Elsewhere, Eamon O'Carroll is out with a shoulder complaint, but Simon Finnigan and Ben Currie are set to return in what will be a challenging contest.
Prediction: England 52-6 Ireland
Australia vs. Fiji (8 p.m. GMT)
After watching England play, Australia return to action against Fiji, who secured an impressive 32-14 win over Ireland in their first match.
Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens has made several changes to his side. Michael Jennings, Josh Papalii, Jarryd Hayne, Josh Morris, Luke Lewis, Nate Myles and Daly Cherry-Evans will all be involved, with several star names rested, according to NRL.com.
Fiji have also made their selection, via the St Helens Star, with Akuila Uate and Petero Civoniceva the most prominent names.
Uate scored a hat-trick in the win over Ireland and last played a Test in England for Australia.
Despite his presence, and Australia effectively naming a reserve side, expect this to be another one-sided affair with Sheens' men running away with a convincing win.
Prediction: Australia 42-18 Fiji
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