Frank Pritchard ruled out for Samoa's game against England with foot injury
Last Updated: 20/04/17 11:39am
England will not be going up against Frank Pritchard when they take on Samoa in the mid-season international in Sydney.
The Parramatta forward, who was released by Hull to enable him to lead the Samoans against Tonga last May, has been ruled out for up to three months with a foot injury sustained in the Eels' recent defeat by New Zealand Warriors.
Former St Helens second rower Sia Soliola, now with Canberra, looms as the obvious choice to take over as skipper for the May 6 Test but Samoa coach Matt Parish admits the loss of Pritchard is a setback for a match considered vital to preparations for the World Cup.
"Losing Frank is a big blow for us but it will give an opportunity to someone else and we are still going to have a strong team." Parish told.www.rlwc2017.com.
Despite the absence of Pritchard, Samoa are set to field their strongest ever Test line-up against England at Campbelltown Stadium, but the team is unlikely to include any Super League-based players which will be a relief to Castleford, who could have lost Ben Roberts, Junior Moors and Jesse Sene-Lefao in addition to up three England players.
Brisbane stand-off Anthony Milford and Canberra centre Joey Leulua will be the headline acts but, Parish has no shortage of talent to choose from and some tough selection decisions will have to be made.
Other players expected to be chosen are Soliola, Sam Kasiano, Junior Paulo, Josh McGuire, Leeson Ah Mau, Peter and Sione Mata'utia, Antonio Winterstein, Tim Lafai, David Nofoaluma, Sauaso Sue, Isaac Liu and Nu Brown.