International rugby league returns to Wembley for the first time in 14 years tomorrow with the hosts attempting to send a ripple through the competition by upsetting the famed tourists.
As part of a BBC televised double-header, with New Zealand facing Wales beforehand, it is also a rare opportunity to increase the profile of the sport.
“For our game as a whole it’s very important, and it’s very important for us as a group,” said McNamara.
“We’re very aware of our responsibilities as a national team in representing rugby league in this country. To win on Saturday would be a massive boost for the game but, in context, winning the tournament is the one.
“To do both would be fantastic and, if we do the first, it gives us a greater opportunity to do the second one in a few weeks’ time.”
McNamara has named an unchanged squad for the third game running, the 17 that won a friendly in France and the Four Nations opener against Wales retained for the challenge against the overwhelming tournament favourites.
Australia are ‘forced’ into two changes to the side that defeated New Zealand but when it means bringing in Greg Inglis, the world’s best player in 2009, it shows their strength.
The South Sydney centre replaces injured Willie Tonga while coach Tim Sheens will decide late on who steps in for injured prop David Shillington
He refuses to buy into the favourites tag, referring to Manchester United’s 6-1 derby loss to illustrate his point, captain Darren Lockyer having taken the squad to a Manchester pub to savour the ‘football experience.’
“The reason sport is so interesting is the unpredictability of what happens on the pitch.”
England: Tomkins (Wigan); Hall (Leeds), Reed (Brisbane), Yeaman (Hull), Briscoe (Hull); Sinfield (Leeds), Chase (Castleford); Graham (St Helens), Roby (St Helens), Peacock (Leeds, capt), Ellis (Wests Tigers), Westwood (Warrington), Heighington (Wests Tigers). Substitutes: Widdop (Melbourne), Morley (Warrington), Jones-Buchanan (Leeds), Wilkin (St Helens), Carvell (Warrington), McGuire (Leeds).
Australia: Slater (Melbourne), Uate (Newcastle), Lawrence (Wests Tigers), Inglis (South Sydney), Boyd (St George Illawarra); Lockyer (Brisbane, capt), Thurston (North Queensland); Gallen (Cronulla), Smith (Melbourne), Scott (North Queensland), Lewis (Penrith), Thaiday (Brisbane), Watmough (Manly). Substitutes (from): Cronk (Melbourne), Galloway (Wests Tigers), Parker (Brisbane), Williams (Manly), Scott (St George Illawarra), Farrar (Wests Tigers).