McNamara gives England chance to gel

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The Independent Online

Steve McNamara has resisted the temptation to make any changes in England's team to face Wales in their Four Nations opener on Saturday.

McNamara has named exactly the same 17 who won in France last Friday, despite some qualms about an uneven performance.

"It's an opportunity for that group of players to rectify some of the errors we made in the game with France, bringing in some consistency," he said yesterday. "There were some great signs in our play last week and we are looking for our key partnerships to gel and prosper. We feel Wales will be a step up from France."

Wales have called up the second-rower Geraint Davies as the replacement for Gareth Thomas, who suddenly announced his retirement on Tuesday. Davies has been without a club since completing his contract with the French side Limoux in June.