Australian Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens says he expects this years Rugby League World Cup to be the best ever, because of the number of NRL players representing smaller nations.


Sheens, who is coaching the favourites leading into the weekends first kick-off between Australia and England, says every game will be tough.


I wouldnt say [were overwhelming favourites], England in England have definitely got an advantage, and New Zealand is definitely one of the strongest teams in the competition, especially with Sonny Bill Williams playing, Sheens said.


We know were ranked number one, but thats for fans, journalists and bookies - from our point of view in the real world its about winning every game, and playing hard every week.


It means nothing having a reputation [alone]; reputations are built on performances week in, week out, so we have to live up to that reputation.


The Australian coach says after witnessing some upsets in the trial matches over the weekend (Italy beat England 15-14 and the USA beat France 22-18) the competition will be played with plenty of passion.


I know Italy beat England on the weekend but a trial match is a trial match - and a Test match is a Test match, he said.


But that was a 24-man unlimited interchange game - an international game will sort everyone out.


A full-strength side will take on an English side under scrutiny, with prop Gareth Hock being asked to leave the English camp for breaching disciplinary reasons - but Sheens says their aim is to win each match.


Winning this [group] game wont see either be eliminated, so its a big game but not a win at all costs game, he said.


But our attitude is: we want to win all our games, and Im sure England have that attitude too.