Rugby League World Cup: Josh Charnley and James Roby back for England
Last Updated: 14/11/13 2:53pm
England have made two changes to their squad for Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against France with Josh Charnley and James Roby returning.
Wigan winger Charnley has not featured since England's opening defeat against Australia in Cardiff, while St Helens hooker Roby sat out last weekend's win over Fiji.
Charnley returns at Tom Briscoe's expense while Roby takes the place of Leeds' utility back Carl Ablett, who did not feature against the Fijians at Hull's KC Stadium.
There remains no place in Steve McNamara's squad for St George IIlawara's new signing Gareth Widdop, who starred for the Melbourne Storm in the NRL last season.
"It has been a difficult selection," said McNamara. "We have no injuries to worry about and we have picked the strongest possible squad to take on France.
"The competition for places, across all areas of the squad, is phenomenal and, as a staff, we are seeing a real competitive edge from every member; whether that is in the gym on on the training field."
"The competition for places, across all areas of the squad, is phenomenal and, as a staff, we are seeing a real competitive edge from every member; whether that is in the gym on on the training field. It is a great position to be in and I acknowledge that we have a tremendous work ethic with every member of the group supporting each other."
No second chances
With France beaten last autumn in the final of the 2012 Autumn Internationals by England, Saturday will be the first time that both nations have met since the 48-4 victory for McNamara's men just over a year ago, and the England coach knows that his players will be in a battle.
"We are playing knock-out football this weekend," he said. "There are no second chances and we have to turn it on. It is a big game occasion, the quarter-final of the Rugby League World Cup, and we are well aware that we will have to play well to progress.
"We played with a lot of vigour and intent against Fiji. We showed, for long periods of the game, that we can play to a high standard. We need to improve our concentration and be on our game for the full duration this week. We are gradually improving each week. Now is the time to really produce the goods.
"Even though we know the strengths of the France team, with their Super League experience, our focus this week has been on our game and making sure we continue to build.
"The lads have been terrific, in every session, and we are very excited about playing in front of another bumper crowd.
"It should be a fantastic night at the DW Stadium with a passionate atmosphere expected at one of the sport's best stadiums."
England's 19-man squad: George Burgess (South Sydney), Sam Burgess (South Sydney), Rob Burrow (Leeds), Josh Charnley (Wigan), Rangi Chase (Castleford), Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield), Liam Farrell (Wigan), Brett Ferres (Huddersfield), James Graham (Canterbury), Ryan Hall (Leeds), Chris Hill (Warrington), Michael McIlorum (Wigan), Lee Mossop (Wigan), Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan), James Roby (St Helens), Kevin Sinfield (cpt) (Leeds), Sam Tomkins (Wigan), Kallum Watkins (Leeds), Ben Westwood (Warrington)