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- International Match
- 27th Oct 2012
- KO 14:30
- Att: 4,014
Wales v England - Autumn Series international
All the players have an opportunity in this series to either establish themselves in the team or the opposite of that is to suggest they are not the right type of person for an international tournament.
Quotes of the week
Wales will be hoping to secure their first win over England in 17 years when the pair clash in the Autumn Series in Wrexham on Saturday.
Wales have lost eight straight matches to England since an 18-16 success in the 1995 European Championship in Cardiff.
England are the resounding favourites to win the competition after Australia and New Zealand opted out of the Four Nations Series in order to give their players better preparation for next year's World Cup.
Wales lost their opening match 20-6 to France in Lens last weekend meaning nothing less than a win over England will enable them to reach the final on November 11.
England have Wigan hooker Michael McIlorum available after England Knights' win over Ireland last weekend counted towards his ban, meaning he has completed his three-match suspension.
McIlorum's Warriors team-mate Sam Tomkins remains sidelined with a knee injury so Leeds Rhinos' young full-back Zak Hardaker will claim the number one jersey. Warrington's Richie Myler was called up after Rangi Chase withdrew with a groin strain.
Harris has no fresh injury concerns from the French game and will make a late decision whether to make any changes.
Former Bradford prop forward Craig Kopczak will once more captain the side after leading them for the first time in Lens and confirmed that he has no plans to entice his predecessor Lee Briers out of retirement.
The 34-year-old Briers retired from the international game after leading Wales in last year's Four Nations Series and is now working as an assistant to Harris on the backroom staff.
Briers, who is fresh from another impressive season with Challenge Cup winners Warrington, came out of self-imposed international exile in 2009 but is unlikely to repeat the act.
Wales (probable): D James (South Wales); E Kear (Bradford), M Channing (London Broncos), C Roets (North Wales), R Massam (North Wales); D Jones (Keighley), M Seamark (Wynnum Manly); G Dudson (Wigan), N Budworth (Mackay), C Kopczak (Huddersfield, cpt), R Lloyd (Wigan), B Evans (Warrington), B Flower (Wigan). Subs: R Pugsley (Wigan), J James (Salford), D Fleming (Castleford), C Moss (Keighley).
England (probable): Z Hardaker (Leeds); J Charnley (Wigan), K Watkins (Leeds), L Cudjoe (Huddersfield) or C Ablett (Leeds), R Hall (Leeds); K Sinfield (Leeds, cpt), R Myler (Warrington); C Hill (Warrington), M McIlorum (Wigan), L Mossop (Wigan), G Ellis (Wests Tigers), G Hock (Wigan), S O'Loughlin (Wigan). Subs: A Morley (Warrington), R Burrow (Leeds), B Harrison (Warrington), J Jones-Buchanan (Leeds).
What they said...
England head coach Steve McNamara
England have prepared for the Series with a 10-day training camp in South Africa and head coach McNamara believes the team will benefit from the high-altitude training.
"We feel we will get some immediate benefits from the camp but we've got to play through this competition and assess it all at the end," he said.
"Our job is to get the players in the very best physical and mental shape we can to go on and win the World Cup.
"We've practised that this year and we may need to tweak one or two things once we get all the results back."
England are in the unusual position of being favourites to land the silverware and McNamara is keen to see how his troops handle the pressure.
"It's alien for us to be going into an international tournament as favourites," he continued. "I think that brings a different pressure and we can judge our players and personnel by how we approach this game.
"All the players have an opportunity in this series to either establish themselves in the team or the opposite of that is to suggest they are not the right type of person for an international tournament."
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