ENGLAND and Wigan Warriors loose forward Sean O’Loughlin will miss Saturday’s Autumn International with France, at Hull KR’s MS3 Craven Park, after straining his hamstring in England’s emphatic 80-12 victory over Wales on Saturday in Wrexham.The Wigan captain will now receive extensive rehab on the injury from the England medical team with a view to a return to the starting line-up when England take on France, in a repeat of this week’s Test match, in the final of the Autumn International Series at Salford City Stadium on Sunday November 11.“Unfortunately, Sean (O’Loughlin) will have to sit out the game on Saturday against France,” confirmed England coach Steve McNamara.“We have monitored his injury over the weekend and will continue to do so this week. The main aim now is trying to get him fit for the final in a fortnight’s time.”With a number of options available to him, McNamara is confident that he has enough firepower in the squad to replace the consistent O’Loughlin.“The injury to Sean means someone else will be given a chance to shine,” he said. “We have a number of options and some of the players who missed out against Wales will now be considered.“We the quality of Liam Farrell, Luke Burgess and Ben Harrison who all sat on the sidelines against Wales, I can add them to my options. There is a healthy drive for competition within the squad and every player wants to play. It is a good position to be in and will give me some food for thought when I select my side for France later in the week.”Tickets for England v France, at MS3 Craven Park on Saturday November 3 and the final of the 2012 Autumn International Series at Salford City Stadium on Sunday November 11 cost just £12 for adults and £6 concessions and can be purchased by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
SEVEN of Saints first team squad will be dual-registered this weekend.Five players will play for Rochdale – Mark Flanagan, Anthony Walker, Greg Richards, Matty Dawson and Joe Greenwood – at Sheffield whilst Jordan Hand and Ade Gardner and are set to appear for Whitehaven at Keighley.Chief Executive Mike Rush said: “We are indebted to Ian Talbot at Rochdale and Dave Woods at Whitehaven for allowing the opportunity for our first team players to get valuable and much needed game time at a high level.“All the players have had good pre-seasons and these matches will allow them to continue that as they look to force their way into Nathan Brown’s first team plans.”
KEIRON Cunningham was pleased with a solid performance as Saints beat Castleford 28-22.He said it was a “typical epic” between the two sides.“Saints Castleford games are turning into epics every time we play,” he said. “I thought we controlled the game a little bit better for larger periods and that was the difference. My halves kicked the ball really well in the conditions.“There was a foot of snow on the pitch and then came the rain and it was always going to suit the team that kept hold of the ball and were more disciplined in defence.“We got a lot of joy from our kicking game. The biggest thing we have to learn to do is stay in that arm wrestle for long periods. The longer we are in it the better we are. Cas are a very good side. Everyone who plays for them gets a shot at the ball. The game ebbed and flowed and I’m sure it would have made for a good TV game.“I’m proud for the players for them hanging in there for the full 80.”He continued: “I thought my pack were good in the Roosters game; we haven’t got an issue in the middle. We have strong ball carriers and good defenders. I thought Lama Tasi was good today and Kyle (Amor) and big Al were outstanding. They lead the juniors around and I have no doubt James Roby loves to play off the back of them.“Atelea Vea is an 80 minute player and getting him the ball more is definitely beneficial for us.“Cas are the form side and played well. It was one of the best repeat set games we’ve had and they are the type of games you have to play in these conditions. The skill element was very good considering.“There is improvement in us for sure. We are working hard in training and getting better in attack. You can only play what’s in front of you and the conditions but we are beginning to pick up some nice points along the way.”Saints take on Wakefield next Friday March 11 at Langtree Park. You can buy your ticket from the Ticket Office, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.
Justin Holbrook named his 19 man squad earlier this week and as previewed here, Luke Thompson, Mark Percival, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Danny Richardson all return to the fold.You can follow all the latest from the game by just clicking on the Match Centre button below!