Calderwood ready to fill gap left by Smith's injury

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The World Cup is over for two players, but is just about to start for England's Mark Calderwood. The French hooker Julien Rinaldi and the Australian utility back Kurt Gidley have both had their tournaments ended by injury.

Rinaldi, the former Harlequins and Catalan Dragons player, had his cheekbone broken in three places in the victory over Scotland and will need surgery. Gidley, who was one of Australia's substitutes in the victory over New Zealand, has damaged a knee cartilage and will also need an operation. The England coach, Tony Smith, will also announce today that Lee Smith will miss the game against Australia in Melbourne on Sunday, creating a first World Cup opportunity for Calderwood, the winger who has come from Wigan's reserves to the game's global event in the matter of a few weeks.

Smith indicated that other changes will be kept to a minimum, although it would not be a major surprise to see Danny McGuire start. Australia have confirmed Johnathon Thurston will play, despite the murder of his uncle last weekend and a shoulder injury sustained in his man-of-the-match performance against the Kiwis. He has only soft tissue damage and is determined to carry on despite his family tragedy. New Zealand have made three changes in the wake of their thrashing by the world champions. Krisnan Inu comes in at centre for the suspended Steve Matai and David Fa'alogo, and Isaac Luke will be on the bench against Papua New Guinea, with Dene Halatau dropped.