England hope injured trio can face Kiwis


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The Independent Online

Hopes are rising that all three injured English forwards could be fit to face New Zealand in their must-win Four Nations match on Saturday. Jamie Peacock, James Graham and Gareth Ellis all missed most of the second half of the defeat by Australia at Wembley.

Peacock has had a scan on his right knee, while his two team-mates are both battling lower back strains.

"The players are responding to treatment and we will get a clearer picture of their fitness later in the week," said the England coach, Steve McNamara.

Two front-rowers who have yet to break into the unchanged England team in the tournament – Leeds' Ryan Bailey and Garreth Carvell of Warrington – are standing by for possible call-ups.

Australia's Tony Williams will serve a one-match ban for his dangerous tackle on Ben Westwood in the victory over England at Wembley after opting not to appeal the charge.