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
The muddy truth of the Christmas Truce game
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny announce engagement
Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview: Alan Pardew targets rare Old Trafford win to halt Newcastle slump
Arsenal vs QPR: Leroy Fer seeks perfect present for Boxing Day
Jose Mourinho on Sir Alex Ferguson: 'A good friend, a good person, a fantastic sense of humour. I like him very, very much'
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader