The England coach, Tony Smith, has been able to pick from strength for tomorrow’s Test in France, which means that Castleford’s 18-year-old prodigy, Joe Westerman, will have to wait a little longer for his first cap.
Westerman and Ben Westwood are the two members of the 19-man party that trained in Toulouse last night to be left out, but Hull KR’s Peter Fox makes his debut on the left wing.
Leon Pryce has been passed fit after a slight doubt over a thigh injury, whilst the vastly experienced Adrian Morley and Jamie Peacock will start in the front row, with Gareth Ellis and Sam Burgess behind them.
“It’s a big pack, but France are a big team and we need to more than match them in that area,” said Smith.
Hull have told their Test forward, Garreth Carvell, to make up his mind about their offer of a new, three-year contract.
The 28-year-old prop has been linked with a possible move to St Helens, but has yet to tell Hull his intentions, leaving them uncertain of their budget for next season.
“It’s not fair on the other blokes to keep them hanging on,” said the club’s coach, Richard Agar.
Bradford will be without their winger, Tame Tupou, for the rest of the season following the news that he needs a knee operation. The former Brisbane player has managed just eight appearances this season.
Jon Sharp, sacked by Huddersfield earlier this month, is the man Featherstone want to replace David Hobbs as coach following his departure this week.
Sharp is a former Featherstone forward, like Karl Harrison, another out-of-work coach who would be regarded as a strong candidate, whilst the former Great Britain stand-off, Garry Schofield, is also considering applying.
Joe Lydon is moving sideways into the role of performance director in an administrative reshuffle at Wigan. His previous role as chief executive goes to Mick Hogan, who was with the Gateshead Thunder in their one year in Super League before becoming commercial director at the Newcastle Falcons.