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Bennett won't be looking to recruit Australian-born players

Sam Burgess looks dejected after the Four Nations match between the England and Australia.
Sam Burgess looks dejected after the Four Nations match between the England and Australia. Richard Heathcote

RUGBY LEAGUE: Wayne Bennett won't be looking to recruit Australian-born players who qualify for England for the 2017 World Cup campaign.

Bennett's England side crashed out of the Four Nations when beaten easily 38-16 by the Kangaroos at the London Stadium.

State of Origin players such as Trent Hodkinson, Josh and Brett Morris and Chris McQueen can qualify for England under the grandparent rule, but Bennett won't consider non-English players.

"That's not the answer,” he said.

"There are quality players here. We've just got to get better and figure out what beats them. They think it's the opposition that beats them.”

He said his team needed to improve their mindset and application before any progress can be made.

"The problem is our inability to continually maintain pressure... not finding the sideline on two occasions, which is pretty important in any context let alone against the best team in the world,” Bennett told reporters.

"Then the stupid penalties we continually give away.

"England are very capable of being a lot better than they are right now.

"Until we get these little problems out of the road, (problems) manifested by their club football -I have seen that and they get away with it at that level, you can't at this - that's the difference.”

Josh Dugan celebrates with Australian teammates after scoring a try against England.
Josh Dugan celebrates with Australian teammates after scoring a try against England. Mike Hewitt

England captain Sam Burgess said his side didn't play to potential, agreeing with Bennett's claim that he concedes two many penalties.

"They're a class outfit, but I think we're a better side than that scoreline,” Burgess said.

"I agree with Wayne, I did give two penalties away at the end of the first half and one led to two points. It's something I have to improve on.

Burgess said English referee Robert Hicks was swayed by Kangaroo captain Cameron Smith.

"Some of the calls were not good enough at all,” he said.

"You've got to put the whistle away at some point, and I'm not saying that is why we lost.

"But this is an international and there were 13 or 14 penalties in the first half. He was being made aware of the penalty count by the Australian captain, who is a smart player, and made sure it was even by halftime.

"I don't know what agenda he's got there but at this level I don't think they were penalties.”

Topics:  kangaroos sam burgess wayne bennett