McNamara hopeful over Tomkins

England Head coach Steve McNamara is expecting England stand-off Sam Tomkins to be fit for the side’s first Four Nations clash against New Zealand at Westpac Stadium, Wellington on Saturday.

Tomkins was substituted during England’s pre-Four Nations warm up game with the New Zealand Maori last weekend amid fears that he had suffered from injury but after an inspection from the medical team, it was revealed that Tomkins had only suffered a minor hip injury and McNamara is confident that the Wigan Warriors player will return to action this weekend.

“Sam did some work with the medical staff today,” said McNamara. “He’s not 100 percent right at this moment in time but there is a good chance he’ll join into full practise tomorrow, so we’re very hopeful he’ll make a quick recovery and I’d be very surprised if he didn’t make the game at the weekend.

“He took a bit of a bang to his hip during the Maori game and if you see the tackle you can see that he fell awkwardly but it’s nothing too serious or untoward and the medical staff will certainly look after him and make sure he is okay for the game on Saturday.”

Despite throwing away an 18 point lead to hang on for a draw during the warm up fixture with the Maori, McNamara is upbeat about the team’s chances in the upcoming Four Nations.

“Things went really well in training today,” said McNamara. “We had a very good session and the players are all looking and feeling pretty upbeat which is a good sign. We got some real quality work done and focused on the areas where we were poor last week against the Maori, especially the areas where we were weak in the second half.

“That game has given us some good indications of the areas we need to work on and improve so we’re looking forward to another good session tomorrow before what promises to be a good game at the weekend.”

England’s opening Four Nations game against New Zealand at the Westpac Stadium, Wellington, will be shown live on BBC 1 at 8am (BST) on Saturday October 23.

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