England ring changes for PNG clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

England ring changes for PNG clash

04/11/2010 06:11:08 PM Comments (0)

Harlequins centre Tony Clubb will make his Test debut when England wind up their disappointing Four Nations campaign against Papua New Guinea on Saturday night.

The inclusion of Clubb was one of a host of changes announced by coach Steve McNamara, with the tourists looking for a morale-boosting win at Eden Park after losing their opening two games to New Zealand and Australia.

The 23-year-old - who will replace Ryan Atkins - will be the oldest outside back in the England side, with fullback Sam Tomkins (21), recalled winger Ryan Hall (23), Tom Briscoe (20) and fellow centre Leroy Cudjoe (22) joining him in a youthful side.

Five-eighth Kevin Brown has been recalled after being dropped from the side that lost to Australia, and will line up alongside Huddersfield teammate Luke Robinson in the halves.

That change allows Sean O'Loughlin to move back to his favoured role at the back of the scrum, following an ineffectual display in the No.6 jumper against the Kangaroos.

Melbourne Storm rookie Gareth Widdop and prop Darrell Griffin also return on the bench, while backrower Joel Tomkins (calf) and winger Darrell Goulding (knee) were not considered due to injury.

"At a push we could have got Darrell and Joel out there this weekend but I am happy with the players I have brought in," McNamara said.

"All the other changes have been made for tactical reasons. The Kumuls' strength is their physicality and we need to be ready for that.

"It is important that we put in an accomplished performance on Saturday - had we been playing Australia or New Zealand this week there were areas that we need to improve in (and) the same applied for Papua New Guinea.

"We must continue to make progress in key areas as an international team."

Team: Sam Tomkins, Ryan Hall, Leroy Cudjoe, Tony Clubb, Tom Briscoe, Kevin Brown, Luke Robinson, James Graham (capt), James Roby, Sam Burgess, Gareth Ellis, Ben Westwood, Sean O'Loughlin. Interchange: Darrell Griffin, Garreth Carvell,Ben Harrison, Gareth Widdop.

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