• Kangaroos prop Aaron Woods has predicted a fiery Rugby League World Cup opening clash with England. (AAP)
Kangaroos prop Aaron Woods has predicted a fiery World Cup opening clash against England, saying they had not forgotten what happened the last time they met.
Source:
AAP
18 Oct - 4:20 PM 

If Sam Burgess wasn't nervous ahead of the Rugby League World Cup opener against Australia, he should be.

Kangaroos prop Aaron Woods has predicted a fiery clash with Wayne Bennett's England on Friday week in Melbourne, saying they had not forgotten what happened the last time they met.

It seems Australia are still seething over Burgess getting away with landing a punch on Australian forward David Klemmer in last November's Four Nations semi-final.

Considered lucky not to be sent off for the huge right cross on Klemmer, Burgess was allowed to stay on the field with no further action taken after the incident was referred to the video referee.

Much has been said about the biff returning at this year's World Cup, with punches not an automatic sin-bin - unlike the NRL - due to the tournament being held under international rules.

And Woods didn't tone down the talk, predicting fireworks from the outset when defending champions Australia lined up on October 27 against their old foe.

"Last year, there was a bit of niggle; a couple of stinks happened," Woods told Sky Sports Radio.

"I am sure the boys haven't forgotten about that.

"Every time I have played England, it has been brutal.

"But this will be a real fiery game."

Australia had the last laugh when they thumped England 36-18 in the semi-final before going to claim the Four Nations crown.

Motivation might not be a problem, but Woods says the Kangaroos will also call on the Ashes spirit for the Melbourne showdown.

Woods said the Australian team had caught the Ashes bug since returning from a weekend warm-up tournament in Fiji.

The women's Ashes start on Sunday while the men battle for the urn from November 23 in Brisbane.

"Definitely, we will be taking that (Ashes rivalry) into the game," Woods said.

"England have a massive pack and a massive side.

"They will be coming out here after not making the Four Nations final so they will be pretty disappointed.

"But it's got that Ashes rivalry - you don't want to lose to them."

Mal Meninga's Kangaroos squad broke up after the Fiji tournament where they defeated the hosts and Papua New Guinea in shortened 40-minute games in Suva.

They will regroup on Sunday in Brisbane before heading to Melbourne.

Woods did not envy Meninga's job of deciding on his team for the England clash after Ben Hunt, James Maloney and Cameron Munster impressed in Fiji.

"The games were a bit different. We swapped Hunt, Munster and Maloney around and it worked really well but it depends on what team Mal wants," Woods said.

"I would say it will be a tough job for Mal to pick the 17 for the England game next week."