Here at Team England we always like to get behind our national heroes.
While historically the big sporting rivalry for us is Australia at the Commonwealth Games, it is the Aussie’s near-neighbours New Zealand, who are the main rivals to England in three major sports this summer.
England’s cricketers are currently battling against the Kiwis. The All-Blacks will be England’s biggest challenge at the upcoming Rugby World Cup – and even Rugby League is getting in on the action with a three-match test series.
This November, the Olympic Stadium will host International Rugby League when England face New Zealand in the second game of a three-match series.
Sean O’Loughlin is the England Rugby League captain and is proud to lead his country.
“You always say that you want to play for England and represent your country, but you never expect to see yourself captaining England and it’s a huge honour and is something I never take for granted.
I am proud of where I am come from, proud of my country and proud of the fact that I get to represent England. We are a great country and I am fortunate enough to be able to lead a group of young, talented English sportsmen onto the field.”
In recent years, England has experienced heartbreak at the hands of the Kiwis and England captain O’Loughlin is determined to avenge previous defeats in the hottest rivalry of 2015.
“We’ve been beaten by New Zealand a couple of times in big games over the last few years, but they have been close games and we can feel confident. They’ve got some of the best players in the World playing for them and are the Number One ranked team, so we are going to have to be prepared to take them on.
When you play test matches, they really push you to the limit and, as a professional sports person, you want to play and test yourself in those games. When you are representing your country you are always desperate to win.”
Sean O’Loughlin takes his role as captain of the England Rugby League team very seriously and is always right behind Team England irrespective of what sport he is watching.
“I am proud to be English and enjoy watching England in all sporting events. I watched England in the Commonwealth Games, Rugby Union, and football. At the moment I am really enjoying the Women’s World Cup. David Beckham is one of my sporting heroes; it was amazing watching him doing so well for England.”
The Olympic Stadium is playing host to its first ever international Rugby League match and, according to O’Loughlin, it will be an amazing event.
“I am really looking forward to it. In the Super League, we’ve taken the game on the road and played at different stadiums occasionally. So, to get the chance to play at the Olympic Stadium is a huge opportunity for us to take the game to new fans.”
The Olympic Stadium in London will host international Rugby League for the first time in November 2015 when England face New Zealand on Saturday November 7.
Tickets are available now at http://www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk/international