England’s Chris Phillips and Walker are aiming for their first hundred in the World Cup final

England pair Walker and Phillips out until the World Cup but the pair have both been in fine form for their clubs in pre-season. “It is the same fitness and conditioning we had last year as there are no new fitness additions,” said Walker. “The one exception is the fitness of George and Tom [Thompson] and their role in the team has been limited. Having said that, the lads have to get their fitness right if they are to play any part in this World Cup.”

Both Walker and Phillips are aiming for their first hundred in the World Cup but both have plenty of experience of playing a World Cup final after having played in the 2007 and 2011 showpiece series. Walker, who turns 29 on December 9, said he was excited about potentially meeting up with England. “I still remember what the feeling was at the back of my mind when we won in 2006,” Walker said. “If I do get back, I will try to get my hundred in it. I cannot remember the last time we played in a World Cup final – but I was fortunate enough to have played at the last two.

“England are a very special country and I know they can be a really challenging opponent. It is great to finally be involved in the game on home soil and to play in front of our home fans. It is going to be really special and a different experience to playing in a World Cup final.”

Phillips said: “I have been out in the gym. I got up at two o’clock this morning [on Tuesday] and did a lot of running. We did a lot on the track a couple of times and then we did a lot on the bike, too. I feel in great shape for the season ahead so I don’t have any pressure on me. After the World Cup we will have a couple of off weeks, so that will be a big relief. I am looking forward to it.”

Phillips, who turns 30 on April 21, said his goal of making his England debut at the World Cup is “a realistic one.” In November Phillips, who had scored twice from five appearances on loan to Wolves in the Championship this season, turned out for Wolves in their 3-0 win at Burton Albion in the FA Cup last night and he said: “I had a

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