Warriors Keep England Places

Warriors pair Mark Calderwood and Chris Ashton have kept their places in Paul Cullen's England team for their Federation Shield encounter with Tonga at the Twickenham Stoop Stadium on Sunday, kick off 3.00pm.

Quins' Rob Purdham started England’s opening game in the tournament against France last Sunday at stand off. But he moves into the back line for this fixture at his home ground to allow Hull FC’s Paul Cooke to take over at stand off half and he replaces another Hull FC ace Richard Whiting.

The return from Great Britain duties in Australia of Salford City Reds winger David Hodgson sees him replace Leeds Rhinos’ Danny Williams on the left wing.

Cooke missed England’s 26-10 win over France because he was given extra time off to recover from playing in the engage Super League Grand Final against St Helens earlier this month.

Cullen said: “It’s important that we beat Tonga because we want to reach the Final on November 12. We go into this match with the undoubted talents of Paul Cooke and David Hodgson available to us but we won’t be taking anything for granted.

“The Tongans will have been encouraged by the fact that their win over Samoa last Sunday put them in the 2008 World Cup and they have players with NRL experience.

“That makes them serious opposition as far as England are concerned and we’ve been preparing to meet that challenge”.

The England team is: Lee Smith (Leeds Rhinos); Mark Calderwood (Wigan Warriors), Rob Purdham (Harlequins RL & captain), Ashley Gibson (Leeds Rhinos), David Hodgson (Salford City Reds); Paul Cooke (Hull FC), Jamie Rooney (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats); Eorl Crabtree (Huddersfield Giants), Matt Diskin (Leeds Rhinos), Ewan Dowes (Hull FC), Lee Radford (Hull FC), Jamie Jones Buchanan (Leeds Rhinos), Brett Ferres (Bradford Bulls).
Interchange: Chris Ashton (Wigan Warriors), Matthew Cook (Bradford Bulls), Nick Scruton (Leeds Rhinos), Ryan Bailey (Leeds Rhinos).

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