Carling calls for change

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Will Carling, the England captain, has applauded rugby league's move to broaden its appeal. He urged his own code to market the game just as vigorously, and saw no reason why players should not be allowed to switch.

Carling, who turned down an offer worth £1m to switch codes a few years ago, said of the Super League: "Union has no reason to panic. I can't see the top English players going over. But there has to be change. They have to be helped to maximise their earnings potential off the field for the sacrifices they make on it."

He believes that England can win the World Cup in South Africa if they gain more mental toughness. "There are no illusions that we can just wander along and produce the same as we did in the Five Nations. The game will be played at a faster speed because of the quality of the teams and the conditions. We need to be sharp, mentally and physically, and more streetwise and ruthless."