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Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 11:12 UK

O'Loughlin to miss Four Nations

Four Nations tournament, England v France:
Venue: Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster Date: Friday, 23 October
Kick-off: 2000 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Sport website. Also live on Sky Sports 2. Highlights on Sunday 25 October from 1345-1445 on BBC Two and online


Sean O'Loughlin
O'Loughlin's international career has been dogged by injuries

Sean O'Loughlin has been ruled out of the Four Nations tournament after cracking a bone in his thumb during England's win over Wales on Saturday.

The Wigan captain will be replaced in the squad by Hull winger Tom Briscoe.

"Sean's had some bad luck with injury when it comes to internationals," said England head coach Tony Smith.

"He missed last year's World Cup with a shoulder problem and a cut knee meant he wasn't available against France earlier this year. We feel for him."

Although he usually plays at loose forward, O'Loughlin played at centre against Wales and was set to have a wide role with England in the upcoming games against New Zealand, Australia and Friday's tournament opener against France.

606: DEBATE

But Smith said he has full confidence in Briscoe, who marked his debut against Wales on Saturday with two tries.

"We have plenty of strength in our forwards and adequate coverage in the pack so there was no need to bring in a replacement forward," said Smith.

"This is a great opportunity for Tom. He had a strong display on Saturday night and I'm sure he's going to make a very positive contribution to our Four Nations plans."

Briscoe, 19, missed three months of the season with an ankle problem, and said his Four Nations call-up had come "totally out of the blue".

Hull winger Tom Briscoe tackles Lee Gilmour during the 2008 Challenge Cup final
Briscoe (left) impressed on his England debut against Wales

"I was more than happy to just have played against Wales. Considering the frustrations of this season I didn't expect much more," he said.

"To have got a call up to join the Four Nations squad is more than I could have expected. It is just fantastic and it really does put a totally different view to the season.

"Making the squad doesn't guarantee anything but having got this far I'd like to get in the side and play in the Four Nations."



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see also
Peacock says England must deliver
19 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Smith happy with England workout
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Wales 12-48 England
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Aussies out of French contention
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Aussie pair to make Four Nations
13 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Bridge given shock England call
13 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Leuluai included in Kiwis squad
07 Oct 09 |  Rugby League


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