AUSTRALIAN superstar Darren Lockyer believes the British game is improving.
And he points to Huddersfield Giants' signing of former Australia and Brisbane Broncos teammate Michael De Vere to back that up.
Lockyer emerged as the chief Lions slayer as the Kangaroos thrashed Great Britain 44-4 to lift the Gillette Tri-Nations trophy on Saturday.
It was a result which prompted many to suggest the British game is still light years behind that in Australia.
But Lockyer doesn't agree, and instead believes it is getting stronger - and will continue to do so with players of the calibre of De Vere coming on board.
"I'm very well aware of how much disappointment there is in this country over the Great Britain performance against us in the final," said Lockyer.
"But, as I've said before, that first-half performance of ours was the best I've ever been associated with.
"And against the Lions it needed to be, because we've got to the stage where only our best against Britain will be good enough.
"It's something of which the players are all well aware, and everyone in Australia knows how strong Super League has become.
"That's something that attracted Michael to the British game.
"He's still at the very top of his game and knows that making a positive impact in Super League presents him with a massive challenge.
"But it's a challenge I know he'll pass. Michael has always been such an amazing competitor, he just never gives up.
"He, more than anyone, typified the Broncos of the last 10 years by the way he carried himself around the club.
"He's one of those guys everyone wants to have in their team every week, and I know that Super League will be a far greater competition for having players of the calibre of Michael around."
De Vere is staying in Australia until January 2 in order to complete a strict rehabilitation programme.
The 27-year Australian Test ace suffered a serious knee injury in training four months ago, but is on course to make his debut in the Giants' Super League X opener at Leigh on February 12.