Injured Shenton’s tournament in doubt

England centre Michael Shenton’s involvement in the 2010 Four Nations is in doubt after a scan today confirmed that the Castleford Tigers player suffered ankle ligament damage in the defeat by New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday.

Shenton sustained the injury during the first half of England’s 24-10 defeat at Westpac Stadium but played on and delivered an outstanding performance in the second half, when his long break set up the tourists’ opening try.

England coach Steve McNamara said it was to early to diagnose how serious the injury is and but expects to have a clearer idea tomorrow, when the team undergoes further rehabilitation following their arrival in Melbourne.

“It doesn’t look good but we will be monitoring the injury and keeping an eye on what progress Michael makes,” said McNamara.

“I thought Michael had a terrific second half on Saturday and though we haven’t ruled him out of the rest of the tournament we may need to look at other options.”

England have two specialist centres in their squad who have yet to feature on tour, Huddersfield Giant Leroy Cudjoe and Tony Clubb of Harlequins RL.

McNamara said the mood in the England camp  had remained upbeat and positive as they head for Melbourne and next Sunday’s match against Australia at Aami Park.

“Naturally we’re very disappointed with the result and some aspects of our game,” he said.

“We dipped our toe in the water on Saturday and as soon as we realised it wasn’t as cold as we thought, we managed to find our feet in the second half.

“It was frustrating to fall 18-0 behind before the break but we gave a good account of ourselves in the second half and that’s something to build on.

“We did miss a couple of chances in offence but we also failed to turn the screw defensively. If we can sort out those things – and I’m confident we can – we will go alright in the rest of this tournament.”

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