Shenton out of Aussie clash

Cente sidelined by ankle injury, Hall available

Last Updated: 25/10/10 10:47am

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Shenton: damaged ankle ligaments

Shenton: damaged ankle ligaments

Sky Bet

England coach Steve McNamara is considering his options after formally ruling centre Michael Shenton out of Sunday's Four Nations clash with Australia at the AAMI Stadium.

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"Michael's a loss for us but it's going to give someone else a chance, probably another young player who is itching to get an opportunity."
Steve McNamara Quotes of the week

The St Helens-bound Castleford player is unlikely to take any further part in the tournament after damaging ankle ligaments in Saturday's opening 24-10 defeat by New Zealand in Wellington, although the tourists are still waiting to discover the full extent of the injury.

"He definitely won't play this week," McNamara said.

"We'll probably know a little bit more after the medics have done some work with him.

"He's had the scan and there is some pretty decent damage there. He's heavily strapped but he heals pretty quick - as he keeps telling us - and he's keen to stay around and hopefully make himself available for later in the tournament.

"It was incredible how he managed to stay out there. He was in some pretty decent pain at half-time but you wouldn't have known it in the second half.

"He's very tough and committed and not only did he play on but he contributed massively to what was a great second-half performance.

"Michael's a loss for us but it's going to give someone else a chance, probably another young player who is itching to get an opportunity."

Reshuffle

England will have Leeds winger Ryan Hall available after missing the game in Wellington with a hamstring injury and McNamara could switch Wigan's Darrell Goulding inside to right centre to accommodate his return.

He also suggested that he is considering using second-rower Joel Tomkins as a makeshift three-quarter but is more likely to either bring in a straight replacement in Tony Clubb (Harlequins) or Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield) or switch Gareth Widdop from full-back as he did in the second half against the Kiwis.

"Gareth is quite capable of playing in all the different positions, which is an advantage for us at this moment in time," said McNamara.

If that is the route the coach takes, the versatile Sam Tomkins would switch from half-back to full-back, as he did to great effect for Wigan this year, and pave the way for a first start for Huddersfield scrum-half Luke Robinson, a hint dropped by McNamara on Monday.

Robinson, who put off his wedding to tour with England, went off with an arm injury in the latter stages of Saturday's match but has recovered to put himself in contention for a full debut.

"He's a fierce competitor, he's fine," added McNamara. "With the form he's been showing, he has probably pushed himself very hard for a starting spot.

"It's still early in the week and we've an eight-day turnaround, which is good for us. We'll settle down and make our selections over the next couple of days."

England's left centre Ryan Atkins was also taken off on Saturday after hurting a leg in a collision with a post as he attempted to prevent the Kiwis from scoring their second try.

"It's a bit of a dead leg, I'm going to have some treatment and I'm sure I'll be fine," said the Warrington player, who blamed himself for picking up the injury.

"If I hadn't have missed the tackle in the first place, I wouldn't have gone flying into the post," he said. "It's the last time I pick a fight with a goalpost."

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