Rugby League World Cup 2013: McNamara walks out on media

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England coach Steve McNamara walks out of news conference

Rugby League World Cup

Dates:
26 October to 30 November
Coverage:
Watch England's group matches and Wales v Italy, plus one quarter-final, one semi-final and the final live on BBC TV, online, mobiles and Connected TVs. Listen to every match live on BBC Radio 5 or 5 live sports extra

England coach Steve McNamara cut short his news conference ahead of their World Cup opener against Australia.

McNamara walked out after six minutes as he was questioned on his selection decisions.

Second row forward Gareth Hock was removed from the squad after a breach of discipline following England's 15-14 defeat by Italy in a warm-up game.

Prop James Graham has not been selected for Saturday's opener with the Kangaroos at the Millennium Stadium.

Hock told the BBC that he does not think his breach of discipline was serious enough for him to be removed from England's World Cup squad.

The forward, 30, said he and some team-mates went on a night out after England's surprise defeat by Italy.

McNamara refused to discuss the disciplinary issues during the media conference and no players were made available to speak.

The England coach was questioned about absence of Graham from his 19-man squad, amid speculation that the former St Helens forward had been involved in the post-Italy game incident.

"There are seven very good players not playing this week," McNamara said. "I'm certainly not going to talk about any individuals among those seven.

"They are all great players, great people and I'm sure they'll get a part to play during the rest of the tournament."

McNamara denied it had been a tough week for him ahead of the opener with Australia and has faith in his squad despite disciplinary issues.

"It's been a week as a coach, simple as that, preparing a team getting ready to face Australia and a team that under-performed last week against Italy," he said. "That's been the nuts and the bolts of the job this week.

"I think the world of that squad, every single one of them and they will all play a part during this World Cup."

McNamara became frustrated as he was questioned on disciplinary issues and said: "I'm not going to answer any more questions on it. If you want to continue asking the questions, then we'll wrap up now."

McNamara briefly went on to talk about the match against Australia but ended the session abruptly when asked about Hock.

Australia coach Tim Sheens denied he was pleased to see England's troubled build-up to Saturday's game in Cardiff.

"I made the comment earlier in the week that an embarrassed side is a dangerous side," he said.

"Anyone involved in sport understands that when things go wrong, it can have the exact reverse effect."

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