More injuries force Smith to add six players

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The Independent Online

Tony Smith has added six players to his England squad for the World Cup, but he will be without the services of the Bradford forwards, Terry Newton and Andy Lynch. Three other players from the Bulls' side eliminated from the Super League play-offs on Friday night have been included, with Paul Sykes, Paul Deacon and Jamie Langley all called up.

Lynch and Newton would also have been named, but both have shoulder injuries that need attention over the close-season. They are part of a badly-timed spate of shoulder problems, with their team-mate, Sam Burgess, and Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin already ruled out by similar injuries.

Warrington's Jon Clarke would also have been involved, but he has broken his fore-arm. The absence of Clarke and Newton will limit Smith's choice at hooker for the tournament. James Roby will be his first choice, but Leeds' Matt Diskin now looks like his only experienced back-up, unless he chooses to revert to Wigan's Warrington-bound Mickey Higham.

Three of Clarke's team-mates at the Wolves – Adrian Morley, Martin Gleeson and Ben Westwood – have been called up as expected following their elimination by the Catalan Dragons.

Smith will name his final, 24-man squad for the World Cup on 7 October, 18 days before the opening match of the tournament against Papua New Guinea in Townsville.

Meanwhile, Wigan have chartered a plane to carry their supporters to Perpignan for their play-off against the Dragons on Saturday after scheduled flights filled up quickly.

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