Noble relies on O'Loughlin

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The Independent Online

Great Britain will field Danny McGuire, Sean O'Loughlin and as many as four other new caps against Australia at the City of Manchester Stadium tomorrow.

Great Britain will field Danny McGuire, Sean O'Loughlin and as many as four other new caps against Australia at the City of Manchester Stadium tomorrow.

The prolific Leeds stand-off and the Wigan utility player were named yesterday in Brian Noble's 19-man squad for the home side's opening fixture in the Tri-Nations and both will play, he revealed.

The others who could make their debuts are the Bradford full-back or winger Stuart Reardon, the Wigan centre or second-rower Stephen Wild and the Leeds pair Chev Walker and Ryan Bailey.

With Paul Johnson ill and unavailable, the four squad possibles who have been left out are Iestyn Harris, Danny Ward, Matt Diskin and Mickey Higham.

Noble will not name his 17 until an hour before kick-off, but the guarantee that McGuire and O'Loughlin will play is a tribute to the impact they have made this season. McGuire's try-scoring has created a public clamour for his inclusion, but O'Loughlin has impressed Noble every bit as much.

"He's a very, very good player who can fill a number of roles for us," he said of O'Loughlin, who is the brother-in-law of his captain for club and country, Andy Farrell.

"Sean's been in fantastic form and thoroughly deserves his place," Farrell said.

One surprise in the squad is that it contains only one hooker, Wigan's Terry Newton - a vote of confidence in a player who often showed a lack of discipline against Australia last autumn.

"It's a thin line between smart aggression and doing things that damage your team," Noble said. "I don't want to take away Terry's aggression in any shape or form."

O'Loughlin is one player who could slot into dummy-half to give Newton a break, while the other intriguing questions hanging in the air concern who will play full-back and left-wing.

The exclusion of Harris is mildly surprising, with Noble hinting that it is still a little early in his second rugby league career to throw him into a game like this. "I've no doubt I'll be using him in the series," he said.

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