McNamara wields Clubb for wooden-spoon battle with PNG
Friday 05 November 2010
England have made six changes for the last match of their ill-fated Four Nations campaign against Papua New Guinea in Auckland tomorrow.
The Harlequins centre Tony Clubb and Warrington prop Garreth Carvell get their first games of the tour as the side try to salvage some pride after defeats by New Zealand and Australia.
"Tony has been the ultimate tourist," said the England coach, Steve McNamara, yesterday. "His attitude and approach have been fantastic. He has given everything every training session and has really pushed his claims hard."
Carvell was a late arrival as a replacement for his injured Warrington team-mate and England captain, Adrian Morley, but McNamara believes he will add some impact from the bench against PNG.
The other changes include starts for Ryan Hall and Kevin Brown, as well as switching Sean O'Loughlin back to his usual loose-forward role. Darrell Griffin and Gareth Widdop, both left out against Australia, return to the bench.
Two players are missing because of injuries, Joel Tomkins with a calf strain and Darrell Goulding with a knock to the knee. In addition, the England captain, James Graham, missed training yesterday with food poisoning, but is expected to be fine for tomorrow.
McNamara has no reason to be complacent about the Kumuls. He was in Townsville as a coaching assistant to Tony Smith for a shaky 32-22 win in the World Cup two years ago. "We are well aware of the threat that PNG can present, but we are very keen to finish strongly," the England coach said.
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