The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Great Britain Rugby League star Keiron Cunningham believes he can cope with the intense pressure he is under playing for the Lions' on Australian soil. The St Helens player is ranked the best hooker in the world and is widely regarded as the only player from the Northern Hemisphere good enough to get in an Australian side. It's not very often an Englishman is rated as high as he is 'down under' but after missing last year's Ashes Series against the Kangaroos' he knows he has to prove his worthy of his number one ranking. "A lot of people have said good things about me in this country (Australia)," said Keiron Cunningham after completing his first full training session with the Lions' squad. "There is a lot of expectation on my shoulders. I'm looking forward to accepting that and proving I'm right on Friday night." explained Cunningham. This added pressure comes after two of the most respected players in the Australian team praised the Welshman. New skipper of Australia and world Golden Boot holder Andrew Johns said: "With Danny Buderus (Australia's hooker) he's close to being the best hooker in the world," Brisbane Broncos and Queensland captain Tallis, who was also a strong candidate for the Kangaroo' captain claimed Cunningham may be the best hooker in Rugby League history. "No disrespect to Buderus, but I think that Keiron Cunningham is one of the world's best forwards, probably one of the best hookers ever to play the game," said Aussie hard man Gorden Tallis. Australia are facing Great Britain & Ireland this Friday at 7:30pm Sydney time and 10:30am British time. The game will be played at Aussie Stadium (formerly Sydney Football Stadium).