Rugby League World Cup final: Chris Heighington handed England recall as James Roby replaces Josh Hodgson

The 34-year-old Cronulla second rower has been handed the vacant bench spot, with Roby starting at hooker in place of the injured Hodgson

Tuesday 28 November 2017 09:31
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Chris Heighington has been recalled for this weekend's World Cup final
Chris Heighington has been recalled for this weekend's World Cup final

Veteran forward Chris Heighington has been recalled by England for the World Cup final against Australia.

The 34-year-old Cronulla second rower has been handed the vacant bench spot, with James Roby starting at hooker in place of the injured Josh Hodgson.

It is the only change to the team that survived a torrid late onslaught to beat Tonga in last Saturday's semi-final in Auckland.

Roby, who won his 30th cap at Mount Smart Stadium, is the only other specialist hooker in head coach Wayne Bennett's 24-man squad and will be expected to play long minutes at the Suncorp Stadium.

Instead of opting for Stefan Ratchford or George Williams to provide back-up, Bennett will now hope Roby can get through most, if not all, of Saturday's game.

Heighington played in England's opening two matches of the World Cup against Australia and Lebanon but sat out the last group game against France as well as the two knock-out games so far.

Captain Sean O'Loughlin has been named in the team as he battles to shake off a quad injury sustained in the semi-final.

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