Rugby League World Cup preview: England v Ireland
Last Updated: 02/11/13 5:28pm
England will be looking to get their Rugby League World Cup back on track when they tackle Ireland at a sold-out John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield.
Steve McNamara's men lost their opening fixture to highly-fancied Australia in Cardiff last weekend meaning the team cannot afford a slip-up this time around as they look to halt a two-game losing run.
Ireland also come into the contest in West Yorkshire on the back of a loss following Monday's 32-14 defeat to Fiji. Head coach Mark Aston believes additional preparation this time around will boost their chances.
England tactician Steve McNamara has made three changes to his 19-man squad with experienced forward James Graham winning a recall for the contest.
Wigan loose forward Sean O'Loughlin returns from injury in place of the suspended Sam Burgess and Leeds-bound winger Tom Briscoe takes over from Wigan's Josh Charnley, who has a slight shoulder injury.
Huddersfield second-rower Brett Ferres and South Sydney props Tom and George Burgess retain their places after making their debuts at the Millennium Stadium while Mossop pays the price for being unable to make an impact from the bench.
Opportunity for others
"We have one forced with the suspension of Sam Burgess. It gives us a chance to look at a couple of other members of the squad this week. It suits us to have a consistent selection from last week with a couple of tweaks," said McNamara.
Warrington youngster James Mendeika will deputise for Scott Grix at full-back for Ireland as the Huddersfield Giant has failed to shake off a thigh strain sustained against Fiji.
Ireland are also without Widnes prop Eamon O'Carroll, who picked up a shoulder injury in the defeat by the Fijians, but Aston expects to have former Huddersfield second-rower Simon Finnigan back after he sat out the opening game with a hamstring problem.
Aston had admitted his team were a little rusty earlier in the week, however, he is backing this weekend's underdogs to put in a much-improved display.
"We were a little bit rusty," he said. "We hadn't had a lot of time but I've got to say the commitment, the attitude and the togetherness was there. What we've got to be is a little more clinical.
"We got a lot of belief out of that game. We only had 10 days together, we only had 10 sessions together. We will get better."
England squad: C Ablett (Leeds), T Briscoe (Hull), G Burgess (South Sydney), T Burgess (South Sydney), R Burrow (Leeds), R Chase (Castleford), L Cudjoe (Huddersfield), L Farrell (Wigan), B Ferres (Huddersfield), J Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs), R Hall (Leeds), C Hill (Warrington), S O'Loughlin (Wigan), J Roby (St Helens), K Sinfield (Leeds, cpt), S Tomkins (Wigan), K Watkins (Leeds), B Westwood (Warrington), G Widdop (Melbourne Storm)
Ireland squad: D Allen (Widnes), L Ambler (Halifax), B Beswick (Leigh), D Blanch (Catalan Dragons), D Bridge (Warrington), B Currie (Warrington), L Finn (Featherstone, capt), S Finnigan (Leigh), K Haggerty (Barrow), J Hasson (Manly), R Kostjasyn (North Queensland), S Littler (Leigh), T McCarthy (Warrington), J Mendeika (Warrington), A Mullally (Huddersfield), A Pewhairangi (Parramatta), P Richards (Wigan), J Toole (St George Illawarra), B White (Canberra).
2013 WC: England v Ireland
George Burgess is confident England can cope without his big brother in Saturday's World Cup clash against Ireland.
Warrington's James Mendeika will deputise for Huddersfield's Scott Grix at full-back for Ireland against England.
England have recalled James Graham for the sold-out World Cup Group A clash against Ireland in Huddersfield on Saturday.