Smith keeps faith with youthful backs
Wednesday 11 November 2009
England's youngest half-back combination in living memory are both set to hold their places for Saturday's Four Nations final against Australia in Leeds.
Sam Tomkins and Kyle Eastmond – both 20 – played the full 80 minutes in the win over New Zealand last weekend. Despite their coach Tony Smith hinting at tweaking his team, and the competition from Danny McGuire and Richie Myler, the pair are in line to do the same at Elland Road.
Another certain starter, the St Helens prop James Graham, has dismissed rumours that he could be about to move to Wigan. "As far as I know, I'm at St Helens next season," Graham said.
England's Gareth Ellis and Kevin Sinfield are among the nominees for the Golden Boot, awarded annually to the game's outstanding international player. Three Australians – Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Cameron Smith – are nominated, along with New Zealand's Fuifui Moimoi.
Only three days from the final the two sides remain embarrassingly deadlocked over the choice of referee. The three countries with a vote – Australia, England and New Zealand – have each opted for their own referee. A decision will be made today, possibly by an independent arbiter.
The former Widnes chairman Stephen Vaughan has been banned from holding a directorship in any business for 11 years after admitting a VAT fraud through which he ran the club. A Widnes spokesman said that the case had no implications for the new company which now runs the Vikings.
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 Why are UK rail fares so expensive?
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head