Sean O'Loughlin, the Wigan captain, is out of the England squad for the Four Nations. O'Loughlin, who was likely to have been first-choice loose-forward for the tournament, needs an operation on a troublesome hip injury but expects to be fit for the start of next season. His absence leaves Leeds' Kevin Sinfield as the obvious candidate for the role. role.
O'Loughlin's team-mate Thomas Leuluai is the one British-based player in the squad named by New Zealand for the Four Nations. The Kiwis have selected uncapped players in their 24-man party, including three members of the New Zealand Warriors' side beaten by Manly in the NRL Grand Final last weekend: Kevin Locke, Shaun Johnson and Russell Packer. The squad will be captained by Wests Tigers' Benji Marshall.
Wakefield have sacked their winger Greg Johnson after he was jailed for two years at Bradford Crown Court for sexually assaulting and attacking a woman with a glass in a bar in Huddersfield in February.
The 21-year-old, a Huddersfield Giants player at the time, threw the beer glass at his victim after she slapped him for touching her inappropriately. The woman needed stitches to her nose and eyelid.