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Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Thursday, 4 November 2010

England make seven changes to face PNG at Four Nations

Four Nations - England v Papua New Guinea
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland Date: Saturday, 6 November Time: 0500 GMT
Coverage: Live on Sky Sports 1, highlights on BBC One and online at 1415 GMT

Tony Clubb
Clubb is set to win his third England cap in Saturday's game

England have made seven changes for the Four Nations match against Papua New Guinea in Auckland as they try to avoid ending up with the wooden spoon.

Harlequins centre Tony Clubb and Warrington prop Garreth Carvell make their first appearances of the tour.

There are recalls for Ryan Hall of Leeds, Melbourne's Gareth Widdop and Huddersfield duo Kevin Brown and Darrell Griffin for Saturday's game.

Wigan duo Darrell Goulding and Joel Tomkins are ruled out through injury.

Ryan Atkins and Eorl Crabtree are the other players left out from the side that lost 34-14 to Australia in Melbourne.

Wigan skipper Sean O'Loughlin switches from stand-off to his more familiar loose forward position to make way for an all-Huddersfield half-back partnership of Brown and Luke Robinson.

They come out firing but I don't mind throwing my weight about

England centre Tony Clubb

All five English-based Kumuls have been named by coach Stanley Gene in his starting line-up, including hard-tackling Sheffield Eagles centre Menzie Yere.

The Papua New Guinea three-quarter line also features Wakefield-bound Jessie Joe Parker and Hunslet winger Michael Mark, while Hunslet hooker Charlie Wabo lines up in the front row alongside Halifax's ex-Hull KR prop Makali Aizue.

"They're looking forward to this match," said PNG captain Paul Aiton. "They know a lot of the England guys."

Clubb and Carvell are the only members of England's 24-man squad yet to make an appearance on tour but coach Steve McNamara insists there was no sentiment involved in his selection for a match which will determine the destination of the tournament's wooden spoon.

"Clubby has been probably the ultimate tourist," said McNamara. "He knew he probably wasn't going to be first choice but his attitude and approach have been sensational.

"Garreth had the disappointment of not being picked initially for the tour but he was the obvious man to replace Adrian Morley and he's been great for the group.


"It's going to be a tough match," said the 6ft 3in (1.91m), 16st (102kg) Clubb.

"They're a pretty revved-up team who are not shy of putting big tackles on. They come out firing, but I don't mind throwing my weight about."

England captain James Graham missed Thursday's press conference because of illness but there is no doubt over his fitness for the match.

"We've couple of boys a bit under the weather," said McNamara. "James just has a slight stomach upset but there's no doubt whatsoever. He's very focused and intent on playing very well this weekend."

Kumuls captain Aiton has seen his team ship 118 points in two games but expects to give England a tough game.

"It's been tough at times, most definitely, but it's been very enjoyable too. Hopefully we can get up for just one more game," he said.

"It's a chance to restore a bit of pride and finish the tournament on a high."

England: S Tomkins (Wigan); R Hall (Leeds), L Cudjoe (Huddersfield), T Clubb (Harlequins), T Briscoe (Hull); K Brown (Huddersfield), L Robinson (Huddersfield), J Graham (St Helens, capt), J Roby (St Helens), S Burgess (South Sydney), G Ellis (Wests Tigers), B Westwood (Warrington), S O'Loughlin (Wigan).
Subs: D Griffin (Huddersfield), G Carvell (Warrington), B Harrison (Warrington), G Widdop (Melbourne).

Papua New Guinea: Ryan Tongia; Michael Mark, Jessie Joe Parker; Menzie Yere; Elijah Riyong; Glen Nami, Dion Aiye; Makali Aizue, Charlie Wabo, James Nightingale, Rodney Griffin, David Loko, Paul Aiton (capt).
Subs (from): Benjamin John, Rodney Pora, Pidi Tongap, Nickson Kolo, George Moni, Richard Kambo, Johnson Kuike.

Highlights - Australia 34-14 England

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see also
England need Aussie experience
31 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
McNamara positive despite defeat
31 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
England 'disappointed' with Aussie loss
31 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Lockyer not happy with Aussie display
31 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Australia v England as it happened
31 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Australia 34-14 England
31 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Trio set to make England debuts
29 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
N Zealand 76-12 Papua New Guinea
30 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
New Zealand 24-10 England
23 Oct 10 |  Rugby League

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