Four Nations 2011: England unchanged for Wales opener

Kevin Sinfield
Leeds Rhinos captain Sinfield will continue kicking duties for England

England coach Steve McNamara has kept faith with the same squad that beat France for his side's Four Nations opener against Wales on Saturday.

Castleford's Rangi Chase, man of the match in Avignon last Friday, continues at scrum-half alongside Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield.

"There were some great signs last week and we are looking for key partnerships to gel and prosper," said McNamara.

"It is an opportunity to rectify some of the errors we made against France."

Melbourne Storm stand-off Gareth Widdop has to settle for a place on the bench while Leeds half-back Danny McGuire was one of the seven players excluded for the second week running.

"The team have worked hard in training all week and there has been a great ethic about our training regime," added McNamara.

"We have worked on trying to manage the game properly and sustain pressure on the opposition so we can create momentum and more frequent scoring opportunities.

"We feel Wales will be a step up from France and they will be very strong and physical, showing great passion."

Wales, meanwhile, have called up unattached forward Geraint Davies as the replacement for Gareth Thomas, who announced his retirement on Tuesday, in their 24-man squad.

Davies, 25, who won the first of his seven caps against England in 2008, is currently without a club after completing a 12-month contract with Limoux in June but played in Wales' warm-up match against Ireland in Neath last Saturday.

Llanelli-born Davies, who helped the Grizzlies reach the French Grand Final, started his professional rugby league career with Celtic Crusaders, scoring seven tries in 47 appearances, and also played for South Wales Scorpions in 2010.

"I'm honoured more than anything," said Davies. "I was disappointed to have missed out in the first place but Iestyn [Wales coach Harris] made that call and he told me to go away and work on my game. The call came a lot sooner than I thought."


England team to play Wales in Saturday's Four Nations match at Leigh: S Tomkins (Wigan); R Hall (Leeds), J Reed (Brisbane), K Yeaman (Hull), T Briscoe (Hull); K Sinfield (Leeds), R Chase (Castleford); J Graham (St Helens), J Roby (St Helens), J Peacock (Leeds, captain), G Ellis (Wests Tigers), B Westwood (Warrington), C Heighington (Wests Tigers). Substitutes: G Widdop (Melbourne), A Morley (Warrington), J Jones-Buchanan (Leeds), J Wilkin (St Helens).

Wales squad: Chris Beasley (Central Comets), Andy Bracek (Crusaders), Lee Briers (Warrington Wolves), Neil Budworth (MacKay Cutters), Ross Divorty (Featherstone Rovers), Gil Dudson (Crusaders) Ben Flower (Crusaders), Tyson Frizell (Cronulla Sharks), Andrew Gay (South Wales Scorpions), Aled James (South Wales Scorpions), Jordan James (Crusaders), Danny Jones (Halifax) Craig Kopzcak (Bradford Bulls), Elliot Kear (Crusaders), Mark Lennon (Thirroul Butchers), Peter Lupton (Crusaders), Christiaan Roets (South Wales Scorpions), Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Geraint Davies (Unattached), Ian Watson (Swinton Lions), Ian Webster (Central Comets), Lloyd White (Crusaders), Lee Williams (Crusaders), Rhys Williams (Warrington Wolves).

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