McNamara admits half-back options pose selection dilemma

England coach Steve McNamara admits the four half-backs he’s selected for this year’s Test squad give him plenty of headaches regarding pairing two of them together.

Luke Gale and George Williams have both received their first call-ups to the senior squad in 2015, but they will face a stiff ask to dislodge last year’s duo for the Four Nations, Wigan’s Matty Smith and NRL-based star Gareth Widdop.

And McNamara paid tribute to all four when asked how tough it would be to find a pairing, and says he’s looking forward to see how they all perform in camp – which began today (Wednesday) – before he settles on a pairing.

“Matty Smith had a first good year on tour and he complemented Gareth Widdop really well,” McNamara said.

“Luke Gale has had a very good season for Castleford – they are not one of the big four teams but he managed to hold his hands up and steer that team around – and George Williams had a sensational second half of the season and became a real threat in our competition.

“Gareth Widdop has become the mainstay of our team but we have four people who can play in those positions and I want to see them in camp.”