Teamsheets: England vs Papua New Guinea

England: Paul Wellens, Ade Gardner, Martin Gleeson, Keith Senior, Lee Smith, Leon Pryce, Rob Burrow, Jamie Peacock (c), James Roby, James Graham, Gareth Hock, Gareth Ellis, Kevin Sinfield.

Subs: Danny McGuire, Maurie Fa’asavalu, Adrian Morley, Jon Wilkin.

Papua New Guinea: John Wilshere (c), George Kepa, Jesse Joe Parker, Tu’u Maori, David Moore, Rod Griffin, Keith Peters, Makali Aizue, Paul Aiton, Trevor Exton, Neville Costigan, James Nightingale, Stanley Gene.

Subs: Rodney Pora, George Moni, Jason Chan, Charlie Wabo, Nixon Kolo, Anton Kui, Menzie Yere. (three to be omitted)

Brief thoughts:

  • England’s backs turn out exactly as I thought. Lee Smith has a real chance to step up here
  • Tony Smith has clearly emphasized wide-running with his back row selection. Disappointed that Rob Purdham didn’t make the 17.
  • That Kumuls pack looks pretty brutal. Look for them to play hard and fast down the middle.
  • It’s unlikely that the English players will have much knowledge of the PNG backs. It will be interesting how much homework the backroom staff have done.
  • Roby starting, with no Higham on the bench? Hmmmm, this reeks of using McGuire close to the ruck, which really doesn’t play to his strengths at all.
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