England expecting O’Loughlin to play

England could be set for a major boost ahead of Sunday’s Four Nations thriller against Australia, after boss Steve McNamara revealed he was expecting captain Sean O’Loughlin to feature in the game at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.

O’Loughlin missed England’s opening weekend win against Samoa due to injury, and wasn’t named in Steve McNamara’s initial 17-man squad for the game earlier this week. However, whilst speaking to the media ahead of Sunday’s clash against Australia, McNamara said that if O’Loughlin comes through a final training session on Saturday, he should be available to play – stating that at the moment, he looks likely to feature.

“Sean will train today and again tomorrow and hopefully he will come through that good and will be available for selection,” McNamara said.

“At this stage I’d say he’ll play.”

The news of O’Loughlin’s potential inclusion is a huge plus for England, who know that a win against the Australians would ensure Tim Sheens’ men fail to reach the final of a major international tournament for the first time since 1954.