Eorl Crabtree would love to be proved wrong.
But the vastly-experienced Huddersfield Giants prop doesn’t think any of the three English Super League clubs will beat their Australian NRL opponents in this weekend’s World Club series.
The six-team global event gets under way tonight when St Helens host Sydney Roosters, with Wigan Warriors entertaining Brisbane Broncos tomorrow and Leeds Rhinos going head-to-head in the main World Club Challenge clash at Headingley on Sunday.
And even though the English clubs boast home advantage, the 33-year-old former England front-row forward isn’t holding his breath.
“I’ve not got high hopes at all, I’m afraid,” said Crabtree.
“I’d love the three English teams to go out there and prove me and a lot of others wrong, but I just can’t see it at all.
“The Aussie sides have come over here with a strong determination to make it a 3-0 whitewash, just like they did last season.
“They seem to be taking it very seriously, and that’s not good news for Leeds, Wigan or Saints.
“All three of our teams are heading into this weekend’s fixtures with no real form behind them and with injuries mounting up.
“Our young, injury-hit side deserved to beat Wigan last Friday (all 17 of my teammates were absolutely fantastic on the night and shouldn’t have suffered an 18-13 defeat), while Saints were blown away at Salford (44-10) and it was even worse for Leeds at Widnes (56-12).
“That’s hardly the preparation required ahead of facing the best clubs in the NRL.”