McNamara to make late call

October 28, 2014
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Steve McNamara has suggested he could make some late changes to his England team to take on Australia at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Sunday.

McNamara has named the same match-day 17 that opened the Four Nations tournament with a late and dramatic victory against Samoa but injuries could force him to make changes.

Central to his plans is the recovery of captain Sean O'Loughlin from the quad muscle injury that ruled him out of the tournament opener against the Samoans at Suncorp Stadium.

"A few of our blokes haven't been able to train fully during the early part of the week," McNamara said.

"We have named the same 17 as last week [but] even though we have named the same side, there could be a change or two at the back end of the week."

McNamara said he has not yet reached a decision on whether or not O'Loughlin will be brought back in to face Tim Sheens's side.

"Those that were unable to train are making decent progress. Sean O'Loughlin is definitely improving and we will continue to monitor him throughout this week," he said.

"It is really difficult to name a team earlier in the week. A firmer decision will be made towards the weekend, when we arrive in Melbourne."

England's last win over Australia was the 20-16 1995 World Cup win at Wembley Stadium and victory against the hosts means England will qualify for the final in Wellington, New Zealand, on 15th November.

England: Sam Tomkins (New Zealand Warriors), Josh Charnley (Wigan), Kallum Watkins (Leeds), Michael Shenton (Castleford), Ryan Hall (Leeds), Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra), Matty Smith (Wigan), George Burgess (South Sydney), Josh Hodgson (Hull KR), James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs, capt), Liam Farrell (Wigan), Joel Tomkins (Wigan), Joe Westerman (Hull).

Replacements: Daryl Clark (Castleford), Brett Ferres (Huddersfield), Tom Burgess (South Sydney), Chris Hill (Warrington).

Australia: Greg Inglis (South Sydney), Josh Mansour (Penrith), Michael Jennings (Sydney Roosters), Dylan Walker (South Sydney), Sione Mata'utia (Newcastle), Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly), Cooper Cronk (Melbourne), Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers), Cameron Smith (Melbourne, capt), Sam Thaiday (Brisbane), Beau Scott (Newcastle), Greg Bird (Gold Coast), Corey Parker (Brisbane).

Replacements: Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), Aidan Guerra (Sydney Roosters), Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne), Ben Hunt (Brisbane), David Klemmer (Canterbury Bulldogs), Josh Papalii (Canberra).


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