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Honor James

Myler to partner Sinfield in new-look half-back partnership

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Warrington Wolves scrum-half Richie Myler will partner captain Kevin Sinfield in a new-look half-back combination when England take on Wales in the Autumn International at Wrexham’s Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium on Saturday (2.30).

Myler has been in sensational form for his club side Warrington during 2012 when he collected a Challenge Cup final winners’ medal at Wembley Stadium and helped his side reach their first Super League Grand Final.

Myler will wear England senior colours for the first time since June 2011, when he scored a try in the defeat to the Exiles in the inaugural International Origin fixture at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, and he cannot wait to be back on the international stage.

“It is great to be back,” said Myler. “As a player you strive to be part of the international set-up and to get another chance at this level is good.

“With Warrington I achieved quite a bit this season and wearing that England jersey will top off the year. Every player loves to play for their country and I’m no different. I want to make sure that I play to the best of my ability. I know I’m good enough at this level and it is up to me to show some consistency in my play and make a strong impression.”

England coach Steve McNamara is looking forward to his new combination in the middle of the park and relishes the healthy competition he now has at his disposal within the national team.

“Richie deserves his place in the squad. He has been one of the form halves in the Super League this campaign and can now prosper as the man in the driving seat,” he said.

“It has been good to see Richie and Kevin working well together in practice and I want to see them take their qualities into battle against Wales. They will get us around the park and lay the platform we need to be creative in our offensive play.

“My aim has always been to have healthy competition in every position and that is starting to come to fruition. We have a great blend in this squad with some young, effervescent talent alongside some experience old heads.

"It is alien for us to begin a competition as favourites. We will judge ourselves by what we want to achieve not the opposition."

With the Rugby League World Cup just 12 months away, McNamara knows that all his player have a lot to prove and the forthcoming tournament will give him a clear indication which players are ready for a battle in World Cup year.

“This is the start of a long journey to the World Cup and our aim is to win this competition and continue the progression into next year,” added McNamara.

“Our job at the end of the next season is to get the players in the best physical and mental shape as we can to go and win the World Cup. "We've practised that this year and definitely we will see some positive results from it albeit by maybe tweaking some things. “It is now down to the players to perform and give themselves every chance of forcing their way into my plans.”

England’s opening match in the Autumn International Series will see them face Wales at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground in Wrexham on Saturday October 27 (2.30pm). Their first ‘home’ fixture takes place a week later, Saturday November 3, at MS3 Craven Park in Hull when England host France in a match which also kicks off at 2.30pm.

The Autumn International Series concludes with the final at Salford City Stadium on Sunday November 11 (5.00pm).

Tickets for the 2012 Autumn International Series fixtures, Wales v England at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, on Saturday October 27 cost from £15 (£7.50 concessions) and can be purchased by calling 01978 294404 or by visiting sportsbookings@glyndwr.ac.uk

Tickets for England v France, at MS3 Craven Park on Saturday November 3 and the final of the 2012 Autumn International Series at Salford City Stadium on Sunday November 11 cost just £12 for adults and £6 concessions and can be purchased by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk

-ends-

Danny Reuben

England RL Media Manager

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I have a lot of respect for both players but this is a hlafback pairing that doesn't fill me with excitement.

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I have a lot of respect for both players but this is a hlafback pairing that doesn't fill me with excitement.

It depends what you want from your halves. You could make a valid argument that this is quite a similar combination as the Warrington halves. Obviously Myler is 7 for both, so I don't need to go into that, but Sinfield could be compared to Briers in that he isn;t the fastest, but he can control a game and the flow of it.

Both players are capable of controlling an attacking team around the pitch on the back of decent forwards, so lets see what they can do.

For some reason there seems to be this mass-appreciation of Lomax, but I'd take Myler over him anyday, and he has served his apprenticeship much more than Lomax has.

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It depends what you want from your halves. You could make a valid argument that this is quite a similar combination as the Warrington halves. Obviously Myler is 7 for both, so I don't need to go into that, but Sinfield could be compared to Briers in that he isn;t the fastest, but he can control a game and the flow of it.

Both players are capable of controlling an attacking team around the pitch on the back of decent forwards, so lets see what they can do.

For some reason there seems to be this mass-appreciation of Lomax, but I'd take Myler over him anyday, and he has served his apprenticeship much more than Lomax has.

I see your point, and whilst I rate Sinfield as an all round better player than Briers, he lacks that magical spark (I'm trying to avoid using the word x-factor but I've just failed) for mine where you never know what he's going to do. I won't deny I don't see him every week so this may be slightly unfair.

At least both are better than Chase.

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I see your point, and whilst I rate Sinfield as an all round better player than Briers, he lacks that magical spark (I'm trying to avoid using the word x-factor but I've just failed) for mine where you never know what he's going to do. I won't deny I don't see him every week so this may be slightly unfair.

At least both are better than Chase.

I think it depends on how you are going to structure your team - note I don't actually buy into McNamara being as clueless as people make out - I enjoyed watching England last year more than in recent years.

If you are going to have talent like Tomkins in the team then maybe he is the 'x-factor' man in the team (you started it!). One of the big issues we have had (IMHO) in the England team is the quality of the link play from the halves. Myler is nowhere near the most talented RL player in the world, same with Sinfield, but they can both do their job very effectively. I just hope that we can get the link play sorted which will hopefully allow the outside backs to get their chance.

At Wembley last year I actually thought our halves did a decent job, mainly Sinfield at spraying the long passes out at the right time and we did some damage to the Aussies out wide, this is the approach we need to take IMO and with these at 6 and 7 then we should be able to do that.

Add in Burrow off the bench at 9, Tomkins looping from 1, a high quality back row running at angles and an effective three-quarter line and the attacking options are there.

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Maybe you're right! I've usually thought that one of your teams x-factor players (aaarrgh what have I done!) should be in the halves, but I suppose if you have one at full back and one at hooker (I rate Burrows as one, but not Roby... Roby is super human but for me doesn't have the... no I can't say it again) it might work as well.

I have genuinely thought for a long time that England (or GB back in the day) usually have one or two great players, but the general standard of the rest hasn't been there to support them. You need enough talent that even if Burrows has a bad day, then Tomkins shines (or visa-versa). I thought last year at Wembley we played really well and nearly converted an RU supporter during that match (I think had we sneaked a win it would have pushed him over ho hum). I won't slag off McNamara either and I'll always support out international team, if I'm honest... I'd prefer an England world cup win next year to a Wigan grand final win... I'm odd like that though.

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Maybe you're right! I've usually thought that one of your teams x-factor players (aaarrgh what have I done!) should be in the halves, but I suppose if you have one at full back and one at hooker (I rate Burrows as one, but not Roby... Roby is super human but for me doesn't have the... no I can't say it again) it might work as well.

I have genuinely thought for a long time that England (or GB back in the day) usually have one or two great players, but the general standard of the rest hasn't been there to support them. You need enough talent that even if Burrows has a bad day, then Tomkins shines (or visa-versa). I thought last year at Wembley we played really well and nearly converted an RU supporter during that match (I think had we sneaked a win it would have pushed him over ho hum). I won't slag off McNamara either and I'll always support out international team, if I'm honest... I'd prefer an England world cup win next year to a Wigan grand final win... I'm odd like that though.

Nah, I'm with you mate, I'd definitely take an England win next year over a Wire win for the next couple tbh!

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Nah, I'm with you mate, I'd definitely take an England win next year over a Wire win for the next couple tbh!

Glad I'm not the only one. :)

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I'd prefer an England world cup win next year to a Wigan grand final win... I'm odd like that though.

Nah, I'm with you mate, I'd definitely take an England win next year over a Wire win for the next couple tbh!

I'd make a similar statement, but whatever I say, Leeds will probably win next year anyway :P

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I'd make a similar statement, but whatever I say, Leeds will probably win next year anyway :P

You'll never hear me say anything other than its up to the other clubs to up their games. Would you support England over Leeds?

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You'll never hear me say anything other than its up to the other clubs to up their games. Would you support England over Leeds?

Honestly, it's very difficult to call. Fortunately the England and Leeds matches never clash, so I can support both :)

Though i can live without a Grand Final win for a year for England to win the World Cup. I feel that would be better for the game in general.

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Is Widdop fit? If so I don't know how either of these players have even been considered to be picked ahead of him.

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England over Wigan for mine.

I can't see that it makes any sense to critise the choice of 6 and 7, without knowing who is 1, 9 and 13. I am pleased McIllorum can play, not so much because he's our answer to Cam Smith, but it will be interesting to see how his "style" combines with the others around him. Roby is amazing, but his strengths would need to be complemented by players bringing more structure around him. Finding the right combination will be vital if we are to take our game up a level.

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Glad I'm not the only one. :)

There are a few of us, don't worry. Having been to most EnglandGB home internationals for the last two decades (and some overseas), I can safely say I'd much rather see our international side triumph in a major tournament/series than see the Eagles win something (though I had the latter this year, so no complaints on that count!)

I have no problem with Sinfield in the halves. If you're going to make him captain and build the team around him, it makes sense to play him in a familiar position. He's a great organiser and leader. Maybe that's what England have been lacking. Well, there are other things as well, but the halves have always been problematic. And as others have pointed out, it's better to have Tomkins at full back (when he's fit) than in the halves.

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Is Widdop fit? If so I don't know how either of these players have even been considered to be picked ahead of him.

Injured and not in the squad, so not an option tomorrow. Hopefully he will be for the World Cup, though.

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The worry about this HB pairing is that they will no doubt shine against Wales and McBanana will think he's found our WC solution when actually anybody would probably look good in the halves today.

I would also take a WC win over a GF win for Bulls.

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is ellis playing? i personally would play him in hte centres to strengthen our left edge up, only watkins a worthy centre at the moment.( all this for world cup though) pointless against france and wales my team for opening WC game

1.tomkins 2.charnley 3.watkins 4.ellis 5.briscoe 6.widdop 7.myler 8.burgess 9.roby 10.graham 11.westwood 12.hock 13.o'loughlin/sinfield

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is ellis playing? i personally would play him in hte centres to strengthen our left edge up, only watkins a worthy centre at the moment.( all this for world cup though) pointless against france and wales my team for opening WC game

1.tomkins 2.charnley 3.watkins 4.ellis 5.briscoe 6.widdop 7.myler 8.burgess 9.roby 10.graham 11.westwood 12.hock 13.o'loughlin/sinfield

You have Widdop and Myler in the halves then you are forced to play Sinfield, which IMO at 33 he will be a liability up against Gallen or whoever plays 13 for Aus. Reed and Hall formed a good partnership last year, I'd like to see it again, I don't know on what planet you can pick Charnley and Briscoe over hall who is considered the best winger in the world and has proven himself good enough against the Aussies. Reed should be picked also as Watkins and Atkins both have weaknesses in their games, but another season may change my mind as all are young.

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Ellis's days at centre are well behind him, you could put him there and he'd offer a physical element to your edge defence but would be susceptible to pace and agility. Offensively you'd get the same type of issue, he'd be physical and direct but would lack the agility, pace and subtle handling skills of a genuine international centre.

Watkins and Atkins are the two best centres available to us and they deserve a shot before being written off, McNamara needs to put his personal differences with Atkins to one side.

I still think a fit Danny Brough alongside Gareth Widdop is the most promising half back pairing available to England with Myler and Lomax being the other options at scrum half while Ratchford and Gale would be our only options at stand off. I refuse to even consider Chase as an option.

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I see your point, and whilst I rate Sinfield as an all round better player than Briers, he lacks that magical spark (I'm trying to avoid using the word x-factor but I've just failed) for mine where you never know what he's going to do. I won't deny I don't see him every week so this may be slightly unfair.

At least both are better than Chase.

the point about sinfield is while he seems to coast through a game doing nothing in particular he in fact moves the team around the pitch and changes the tempo of them game when he see fit and of course when he is on top of his game there is no better kicker of a ball in the british game than sinfield .

he is the ideal man to make sure a game plan is carried out and does not panic if things are going wrong . who else do we have who can carry out those tasks to such a high standard.

the xfactor players need somebody to provide the platform for them to play on otherwise they cant preform as effectivly .

as for him been named at standoff thats not really an issue as he could preform the same role from scrumhalf or looseforward or even 2nd row

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I think it is combo worth playing. Sure, it has to be more than an experiment, it would have to have been thought through and discussed and simulated in training.

Ditto Sinfiled ast 6 and Sam Tomkins at scrum half with Hardacre at Cold Comfort Farm - sorry that was Starkadder at fullback

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the point about sinfield is while he seems to coast through a game doing nothing in particular he in fact moves the team around the pitch and changes the tempo of them game when he see fit and of course when he is on top of his game there is no better kicker of a ball in the british game than sinfield .

he is the ideal man to make sure a game plan is carried out and does not panic if things are going wrong . who else do we have who can carry out those tasks to such a high standard.

the xfactor players need somebody to provide the platform for them to play on otherwise they cant preform as effectivly .

as for him been named at standoff thats not really an issue as he could preform the same role from scrumhalf or looseforward or even 2nd row

I think you have just described Sinfield to a tee. He will never produce a incredible x factor piece of play (sorry Riding and Dave), but he will kick well, complete his passes and direct play. I would imagine he is a coach's dream, such is his consistency.

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