'We needed the break' claims reluctant tourist Fittler

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The Independent Online

A relaxed Brad Fittler says that the confusion over whether the Kangaroo tour was on or off will work in his team's favour.

The Australian captain was vilified for his reluctance to tour, but now says that the only thing wrong with the trip is that it is not longer.

"We have got people hiding around corners looking after us,'' he said. "The emotion of it all will work in our favour. When we were told it was off, we all had a couple of weeks off, which we needed.''

Fittler said he had expected a more hostile reception than the tourists have had. "Everything has been pretty positive,'' he said. "I know how much the English love their footy and for Australia to come here gives their players the chance to prove their worth.

"There is a lot of talent in the top four or five teams, although I thought Great Britain might have brought in one or two of the younger players.''

Fittler singled out Leeds scrum-half Rob Burrow, whom he saw on the recent under-19s tour to Australia. He said: "He's a real handful and he is going to be a great little player.''

Fittler said he was relieved not to be facing his Sydney City team-mate Adrian Morley, who was ruled out of the first Test this week after X-rays on the arm he broke last season, and he questioned the ability of Great Britain's Australian-born coach, David Waite, to motivate his side. "Can someone be as passionate about coaching another nation against his own? I don't know. He'll do a good job for them, but it's not something that I would be able to do.''

The Australian coach Chris Anderson also had a friendly dig at his opposite number and his very different approach to the job.

"His sides play some good football,'' he said. "It's just the way he puts it across that's a bit complicated.''

Anderson predicted a "hectic'' game at Huddersfield on Sunday. "It will be very physical. They have nothing to lose and they'll throw everything at us.''

Hull have signed Chris Chester from Wigan on a three-year deal after announcing earlier this week that they had pulled out of negotiations.

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