Steve McNamara: 'Craven Park crowd will give England a big lift'
STEVE McNamara says Hull was top of the list when it came to selecting venues for England's Autumn International matches.
And he believes the passion of the city's rugby league fans will again play their part in roaring his side to victory.
A packed KC Stadium helped England to an impressive 28-6 win over New Zealand in their last performance in the city in 2011.
And McNamara says it is a game which is strong in the memory for both he and his players.
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"All the England players love coming to Hull because the reception they receive is always fantastic," said McNamara.
"The fans gave us a real lift when we played New Zealand at the KC Stadium and I'm sure they'll be just as passionate on November 3.
"When we sat down to talk about possible venues, Hull was the first city we put forward.
"It's essential that rugby league fans in the city are given the opportunity to support the national team, and after missing out on a game against the Exiles, we had to come here.
"We spoke about playing at MS3 Craven Park while we were away in camp in South Africa last week and the whole squad agreed that it's a ground which creates a great atmosphere.
"There were thousands of Rovers fans at the KC Stadium last year and I'm sure the Black and Whites will travel east to get behind us.
"It's not about Rovers or FC, it's about supporting England and I have no doubts that people will turn out in their droves."
England open their Autumn International account against Wales in Wrexham this Saturday when the hosts must win to stand any chance of making the final after losing to France last weekend.
"I thought France and Wales were very physical, especially in defence, and both sides will have taken a lot from the experience," said McNamara.
"Offensively, neither team will be entirely happy, but it's a step in the right direction for them.
"We're expecting a warm reception in Wales and are aiming to be at the top of our game throughout this tournament.
"All our preparation throughout this year has been designed to hit the ground running.
"Everything we do involves having one eye on the Rugby League World Cup in 2013."
McNamara will name his team for the trip to Wrexham tomorrow following further consultation with his backroom staff but told the Mail he had a "strong idea" what the line-up would be, with Hull's Tom Briscoe and new signing Gareth Ellis likely to play.