Rugby League - Cherry-Evans keen to impress

Daly Cherry-Evans is aiming to top off an outstanding year by claiming a Kangaroos jersey for the knockout stages of the World Cup.

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Rugby League - Cherry-Evans keen to impress
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Daly Cherry-Evans, centre, is hoping to secure a World Cup berth

The Manly Sea Eagles scrum-half, who was man of the match in the NRL Grand Final last month, is one of seven changes made by coach Tim Sheens for Saturday night's group A match against Fiji at St Helens.

Cooper Cronk is expected to return for next week's final pool match against Ireland in Limerick but a place on the bench is a realistic target for Cherry-Evans, who won his only previous cap against Wales in a dead rubber during the 2011 Four Nations Series and watched the Kangaroos' opening 28-20 win over England from the stands at the Millennium Stadium.

"I'd be pretty confident in saying all of us sitting on the sidelines were disappointed not to be involved," he said. "We've got such a strong squad that everyone is more than capable of coming in and filling a spot.

"In the best teams the competition always has to be quite intense and on the training paddock it's always a good little rivalry.

"We are always testing ourselves against each other but, come game day, who ever Tim picks in the six and seven will do a more than capable job.

"I've been able to represent my country once before and it's been a couple of years now, so I'm really excited to be wearing the green and gold again this weekend against a very strong Fiji outfit."

Saturday night's match will be the first meeting of the two teams since the semi-finals of the 2008 World Cup and Cherry-Evans is expecting the Fijiians to put up stronger resistance than they did in that 52-0 defeat.

The Pacific Islanders opened the tournament with a confident 32-14 win over Ireland in Rochdale on Monday, with valuable contributions from former Kangaroos Petero Civoniceva, their new captain, and Akuila Uate, who scored a hat-trick of tries.

"Fiji are a very physical outfit," Cherry-Evans said. "We're preparing for a very physical match. Hopefully we can control the ball so they don't get too much of it."

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