Steve McNamara names his first England squad today, with his first-choice scrum-half, Kyle Eastmond, his major doubt. Eastmond will have a scan today on the ankle he injured in St Helens' Challenge Cup victory over Barrow. Although the damage is not thought to be long-term, his coach, Mick Potter, has described him as "very doubtful" for the international against France on 12 June.
With Warrington's Richie Myler already ruled out, that could mean a recall to the starting line-up for Danny McGuire of Leeds. His team-mate Jamie Peacock is expected to be fit to captain his country after his courageous return ahead of schedule from his knee injury in the cup win over Wigan.
The Wigan second-rower Joel Tomkins needed eight stitches in an eye injured by Keith Senior's stray boot in that tie, but will be able to take his place alongside his brother, Sam, against the French.
The Rugby League is waiting for reports from that match on the throwing of missiles by Wigan fans after Leeds' late winning try. The touch judge Robert Hicks was struck on the head by a coin, but Wigan supporters have blamed the Rhinos' ecstatic celebrations for provoking the incident.
Meanwhile, Bradford have denied that their scrum-half, Matt Orford, has told them that he wants to return home to Australia midway through his first season of a three-year contract. Orford played in the Cup defeat by Warrington, despite being "only 5 per cent fit," according to his club coach, McNamara, who added: "That shows his commitment to the club." Bradford are expecting their 18-year-old back-rower, James Donaldson, to be ruled out for the rest of the season by a scan today, after he was carried off on a stretcher with knee ligament damage.
The League is waiting for a response from the former Bradford hooker Terry Newton to its request for names of players he alleges have been taking human growth hormone, the banned substance for which he tested positive and is serving a two-year ban.
In Australia, the Kangaroos centre Israel Folau is to switch to Australian Rules with the new Greater Western Sydney franchise. Folau is following his Brisbane Broncos team-mate Karmichael Hunt into the AFL.Reuse content