England captain Sean O’Loughlin’s chances of playing in Saturday’s World Cup final have been rated as ’50-50′ by his coach.
O’Loughlin suffered a quad injury during England’s dramatic victory against Tonga on Saturday, leaving his participation in the final in serious doubt.
When asked by TotalRL for an update on his fitness, the England skipper said: “I’ve got a few sessions to knock off first, but it’s hopefully looking okay. I picked up a quad problem in the game, we’ll see how it goes but fingers crossed.”
However, when addressed by the media in Brisbane ahead of England’s clash with Australia on Saturday in the final, Bennett was slightly more cautious on O’Loughlin’s chances of featuring – insisting that if he is not fit, he will not play.
Bennett said: “He is 50-50 so we are not sure. He is not going to play if he is not fit.
“He has done that too many times in his career before and as a coach I do not want that. He will be fit to play or he won’t be, it is as simple as that.”
Bennett also shed light on who may feature for England should O’Loughlin miss out – saying that St Helens utility Jonny Lomax would be the most likely candidate to come in on the bench.
That would suggest a move to 13 for Sam Burgess, with Ben Currie perhaps moving up to start in the second row.
Bennett added: “We will probably bring Lomax in on the bench. He has played a lot of positions in his career so that is probably our best option.”