ONE of the Australian television presenters trotted out the predictable line at the weekend that England’s best chance of beating the Green and Golds in future would be the team having 1-17 NRL players.

Not only is that not true, it is actually damaging and in the long term would see an absolute chasm opening up between the nations.

Sure, it is getting a long time since England or Great Britain last beat the Aussies.

That was way back in 2006 and if I remember rightly - unless there was a bit of moonlighting going on - that Lions team was not crammed with NRL players.

What they did pick from, however, was a very strong Super League competition.

One of the remaining members of that team, James Roby, was arguably England’s best nine in the World Cup - yes, even better than Canberra’s Josh Hodgson.

Does anyone think that Roby’s play would be taken up another notch by playing NRL?

Of course James Graham, who has been in Oz since 2012, was immense - as he was every time he wore the red vee, including in those final years when he carried a Saints pack - but has playing NRL made him that much better.

If we are doing comparisons there is an argument to say that in Saturday's final Chris Hill was more effective than NRL's Tom Burgess.

And maybe England may have made more headway had their other Super League prop — Alex Walmsley – been thrown into the fray in the last quarter.

The only thing he would maybe benefit from would be playing less games, but that goes with all Super League’s elite.

Maybe the folk presenting that view are not particularly bothered about the English game, or the international game for that matter.

There is a tendency Down Under to see everything through the eyes of the NRL at the expense of everything else.

But there has to be a support and defence of the British competition.

Without a strong, vibrant Super League those elite players won’t be coming on to the production line for the NRL clubs to poach.

An over aggressive NRL recruiting mission now, would essentially kill the goose that has been laying those occasional golden eggs.

Face facts, if all of England's brightest stars went to Australia how attractive would be our comp for fans and sponsors.

We would end up taking huge steps backwards should that happen - and with a reduced budget the investment in youth would be fatal.

And as a side effect of that, England team will begin to wither.

But, keeping players here is easier said than done.

Given the huge gulf between the salary caps of the NRL clubs and the Super League sides, it is going to be a tough time to keep hold of players as it is.

I don’t doubt that there were a few scouts salivating as they saw big Alex Walmsley crash, bang, wallop into the defenders and then furtively finger the calendar for an expiry date on his Saints contract.

After this World Cup. we can see Australian clubs queuing up for some of the English game’s best talent.

Who would blame any of them for going over?

If you are an elite player, they would be justified in following James Graham into the NRL?

Jammer has proved himself to be an absolute tower of strength in that game, doing just as Cliff Watson had done in the decades before.

But let us not try and dress up the pundit's view as somehow being a bit of altruism.

For England to have a stronger international team it needs a stronger, more vibrant domestic game.

This strong World Cup can help as long as we can turn that surge of interest into new sponsors support, ticket sales and boost the media presence at big events further down the line.

It is not as simple as simply increasing salary cap — the game needs to be able to generate that money first.

But cap wise there needs to be greater leeway and exemptions (and rewards for the clubs that have grown them) for club homegrown stars.

The more that we can keep real talent here and spend money on quality players, the better England will be in the future.