England hope injured trio can face Kiwis
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Wednesday 09 November 2011
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.
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