McNamara calls Lowes into England fold

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The England coach, Steve McNamara, has appointed his old Bradford team-mate, James Lowes, as his assistant. The two worked for the national side under Tony Smith in 2007, as well as playing together at Odsal. Lowes, a former Test hooker, is now assistant to Smith at Warrington, a job he will combine with his England duties, which start with the preparations for next Saturday's match against France.

"He's a fantastically loyal person, who will bring a toughness and resilience to the group," McNamara said. "We are different types of character, but have always got on well and complement each other."

In his continuing duties as coach at Bradford, McNamara is trying to bring in reinforcements on loan to patch up his injury-hit squad. The 18-year-old back- rower, James Donaldson, was ruled out for the season this week with knee ligament damage, and Andy Lynch and Matt Orford are doubtful starters against Huddersfield tomorrow.

The Giants, by contrast, have three important players coming back, with Danny Brough, David Fa'alogo and Paul Whatuira expected to play. That could be what Huddersfield need to shake them out of their recent malaise, which has seen them lose their last four matches. "The problems we have been facing have very much been of our own making, so it is up to us to sort it out," said the Giants' coach, Nathan Brown.

The Super League leaders, Wigan, will be without their prop Andy Coley against Castleford after he failed in his appeal against a one-match suspension for a dangerous throw. Amos Roberts is also left out, for what are described as precautionary reasons after making his comeback from knee surgery last week.

Hull KR's hopes of having the former Wigan wingman Liam Colbon fit to face the Catalan Dragons have been dashed after he injured a knee in training; he will be sidelined until late July.