STEVE McNamara is predicting 'needle' between his England squad men and the Exiles players ahead of Warrington Halliwell Jones Stadium staging the Origin International.
The Rugby Football League will host this year’s solitary Origin meeting between England and the Exiles at Wolves’ den on Friday, June 14.
It will be the first senior England international to take place at the venue and the showdown will be McNamara's only chance to see his players in a competitive fixture before they face Australia in the Rugby League World Cup next October.
McNamara’s World Cup hopefuls will face the cream of southern hemisphere Super League talent in an encounter that has grown in stature since its inception two years ago.
Wolves imports like Brett Hodgson and Joel Monaghan have gone into battle against clubmates such as Stefan Ratchford and Ryan Atkins on past occasions and the stakes will be higher this time as England hone their preparations for the World Cup.
McNamara believes this year’s match will be the best yet.
“It’s a massive game for England and every English player who aspires to being involved in our plans for the World Cup,” he said.
“International Origin offers a great opportunity to continue the progress we have experienced as a group and take an important step towards the World Cup.
“However, it’s not just about the World Cup – this is very much a fixture we will be looking to win.
“There is always needle between the England and Exiles players ahead of the Origin game and I’m sure that between now and then we will see a massive hunger to be involved in this fixture.
“We are delighted by the choice of venue. There’s always a terrific atmosphere at The Halliwell Jones Stadium and the players all like playing there.”
Tickets will go on general sale from Monday, February 25.
Wolves chief executive Andy Gatcliffe believes the RFL’s decision is a vote of confidence for a stadium that is to host two World Cup games.
“It reflects on the quality of the facility and the off-field people we have here at the club,” he said.
Key dates at The Halliwell Jones Stadium in 2013:
Jan 26: Ben Westwood Testimonial game, Wolves v Wigan Warriors
Feb 3: Super League Round One - Wolves v Castleford Tigers
June 14: England v Exiles
Sep 29: Championship Finals
Oct 27: RLWC - New Zealand v Samoa
Nov 17: RLWC - Quarter final