Westerman targets Four Nations place after earning call-up for France trip

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The Independent Online

Joe Westerman, England's late addition for Saturday's Test against France, sees his trip to Paris as a stepping stone to this autumn's Four Nations.

The 19-year-old Castleford loose forward was drafted in for the injured Sean O'Loughlin and may win his first cap this weekend. That is despite what the player himself regards as his poor form this season.

After winning the Super League's Young Player of the Year award in 2008, he has struggled to make the same impact this time. Westerman was a non-playing reserve in the same fixture in Toulouse last year.

"Hopefully I can get back to my best form and be involved in the Four Nations," he said.

Australia and New Zealand are considering refusing to play in the tournament, because of the French ban on alcohol advertising. Both sides are sponsored by brewers.

London's professional clubs, Harlequins and London Skolars, have agreed a new loan strategy. The Rugby Football League has sanctioned an arrangement under which the Super League club can lend players to their neighbours on a weekly basis, rather than the usual minimum of a month.

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