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Australia Coach Tim Sheens has played down the Kangaroos' favouritism leading into Saturday's World Cup opener against England.

While Australia has an outstanding record, especially in one off matches, the Kangaroos pre-match dominance of betting markets hasn't always been reflected in trophies.

New Zealand downed Australia in the 2008 World Cup final and again destroyed Green and Gold hopes when Benji Marshall inspired the Kiwis to a thrilling last-ditch win in the 2010 Four Nations final.

England are also expected to pose an enormous threat in the UK, with Cardiff and Manchester likely to be bursting at the seams with Lions fans.

The weekend's warm up matches have already shown that complacency will be paid for, with France and England dealt surprise defeats by USA and Italy.