Smith announces England squad
Wednesday 05 November 2008
England will go into Saturday's final World Cup pool match against New Zealand with just two specialist props.
Coach Tony Smith has decided to rest Man of Steel James Graham, along with his St Helens team-mates James Roby and Ade Gardner, for a game that is being seen as a "dead rubber".
Barring an unlikely victory by Papua New Guinea over Australia in Townsville on Sunday, England and the Kiwis will meet again a week later in the first semi-final in Brisbane.
With that crunch clash in mind, Smith has taken the opportunity to rotate his squad, with Mickey Higham, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jamie Langley, Rob Purdham, Paul Sykes and Ben Westwood all hoping for a first World Cup appearance after being named in a 19-strong squad.
As the only other specialist hooker in England's 24-man party, Higham is certain to take the place of Roby, who has been one of the shining lights of England's first two matches, while winger Lee Smith returns from a foot injury to take over from Gardner.
Latest in Sport
WrestleMania 31: John Cena aims to bring the United States Championship home in rematch with Rusev
WrestleMania 31: What time does it start? Full match card and preview ahead of WWE event
Cricket World Cup 2015 - Nick Knight column: It was all over the moment the cup’s best bowler bowled the best batsman
Sting vs Triple H: NWO, DX and Shawn Michaels return at Wrestlemania 31 as The Game triumphs in flashback to Monday Night Wars
Thierry Henry shows he's still got it with incredible pass against Jamie Carragher's side during Steven Gerrard tribute match
- 1 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 2 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 3 Germanwings plane crash: I have depression. That doesn't make me a psychopath
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew