Hock set to make England return after drugs ban

Gareth Hock will make his first England appearance since his drugs ban as Steve McNamara names his team to take on the Exiles.

Hock has not played for England since the 2009 mid-season test against France, and was subsequently banned later that year after being tested positive for cocaine.

Hock will start in the second row alongside Danny Tickle, who has not represented England since playing against Wales in 2009.

Sean O’Loughlin is welcomed back into the England side after missing last season’s Four Nations with injury.

Ryan Atkins is also named as a starting centre after missing the Four Nations, with what was officially confirmed as a wrist injury last year.

Lee Mossop and Josh Charnley have been promoted from the England Knights into the full squad on the back of some excellent performances for Wigan. They will make their full debuts alongside Carl Ablett.

McNamara has kept faith with the halfback pairing of Kevin Sinfield and Rangi Chase. Chase will start against the team who he helped defeat England in last year’s International Origin match.

McNamara said: “Every training session and every game counts ahead of the World Cup, because there are not too many of them. We are quite fortunate to have two games against the Exiles and an end of season programme this year going into 2013, but every second does count when you are with the England group.

“We are coming into the final stretch of the season once we get this Exiles game out of the way, and it feels like only two minutes ago since the season started.

“The same will happen for the World Cup. Once we get the Exiles games out of the way and the end of season tournament, the 2013 season will be upon us. We need to be ready, and we will.”

England team to face Exiles

Sam Tomkins
Josh Charnley
Carl Ablett
Ryan Atkins
Ryan Hall
Kevin Sinfield
Rangi Chase
Eorl Crabtree
James Roby
Jamie Peacock (c)
Gareth Hock
Danny Tickle
Sean O’Loughlin

Rob Burrow
Lee Mossop
Gareth Carvell
Jamie Jones-Buchanan


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