CHRIS Hill says England are “definitely better” than when they opened the Rugby League World Cup against Australia.

A little over five weeks after the Kangaroos triumphed 18-4 in Melbourne, the sides meet in Brisbane on Saturday in the tournament’s showpiece final.

Hill has been named in the front row by England boss Wayne Bennett and says victory would make the sacrifices the squad have made worthwhile.

“We’re definitely better than the start of the tournament,” he said.

“I think we’ve improved massive amounts under Wayne, even from the Samoa game in mid-season, which was great preparation for this World Cup.

“No doubt Australia will be better too, though, as we are.

“They’re favourites for a reason, they’re on home soil and won it so many times but let us concentrate on ourselves.

“A lot of lads over here have made a lot of sacrifices over the last seven weeks with families, so we’ll do it for our group.”

Hill’s Wolves teammates Kevin Brown and Ben Currie are also set to feature, with Brown named at stand-off by Bennett and Currie on the bench.

The Wire skipper has backed his clubmates to shake off criticism of their performances and make an impact on the biggest of stages.

“I don’t understand where criticism of Kevin Brown and Ben Currie came from,” he said.

“You’ve watched them, especially Kev, in previous internationals and I think he’s been outstanding.

“Kevin is the man for the big occasion, that’s why he’s been at the top for so long.”

“He’s not been a top Super League player for nothing. He thrives on the big occasion, as you saw against Tonga.”