Peacock to lead England against Exiles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Peacock to lead England against Exiles

03/06/2011 01:40:21 AM Comments (0)

Jamie Peacock is to captain England's rugby league team on Friday week against the best of Super League's foreign legion in a warm-up for the Four Nations series.

The 33-year-old Leeds prop, an international captain since leading Great Britain in 2005, missed last year's Four Nations with a knee injury.

James Graham led England in Peacock's absence but coach Steve McNamara was happy to hand the armband back to Peacock on Thursday.

"Jamie missed the tour last year due to his injury but he has worked extremely hard to get back," McNamara said.

"He's a huge influence both on the field and off the field and his presence is very much welcomed back."

Peacock, who only returned to action at the end of April after an eight-month layoff, said: "I knew I had to come back and play very well and come back earlier than I'd have liked.

"I knew I needed to have five or six games rather than two or three.

"We have strong leaders anyway, so it's a good group to captain owing to the amount of leaders we have."

Former New Zealand coach Brian McLennan, who won the Super League with Leeds in 2008 and 2002, is in charge of the Exiles.

The aim of the match is to give England a meaningful contest ahead of this year's Four Nations, which they are hosting, after an all-too easy win against France preceded last year's edition 'Down Under' where they were well-beaten by both Australia and eventual champions New Zealand.

The Exiles fixture, which will be staged at Headingley, Leeds' home ground, is also a revival of the kind iof match that England used to play against the 'Other Nationalities'.

That team ceased to exist in the mid 1970s as the likes of Wales, Scotland and Ireland all developed their own international teams while the likes of Australia and New Zealand played ever more Tests in their own right.

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