Morley out of Four Nations

England captain Adrian Morley has been ruled out of the 2010 Four Nations after suffering a serious arm injury in the tourists’ 18-all draw with the New Zealand Maori on Saturday.

The prop ruptured his right bicep in the sixth-minute of last night’s match, an injury that was confirmed following a scan at hospital in Auckland this morning.

Morley will fly home to England later this week for an operation on the injury and is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the 2011 Engage Super League season.

The prop said he was “devastated” at having lost the opportunity to lead his country against New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea over the next four weeks.

“I’m absolutely gutted and am still coming to terms with it,” said the Warrington Wolves captain.

“I’ve been around long enough to accept that injuries are a part of everyone sportman’s life but this one has left me devastated.

“I knew as soon as it happened that it was serious. It was just an accidental bang to my arm but the pain was excruciating.

“It’s important now that I get myself right for next season. I’ve been told that recovering from the operation will be a long slow process but I’m determined to come back stronger than ever.

“It will be really tough watching the Four Nations on TV back in the UK but I’ll be rooting for the boys. There’s a massive depth of ability in this England squad and I have no doubts they can have a successful tournament without me.”

England coach Steve McNamara said losing Morley so soon after Jamie Peacock had been forced to miss the tour because of a knee injury was a cruel blow.

“It’s really tough on Moz and on England. Adrian is a fiercely proud Englishman and I know how much captaining his country in the Four Nations meant to him,” said McNamara.

“What’s important now is that we do the right thing by Adrian and the right thing by England. As soon as we can get him home to have the operation he needs we will do so.

“The Four Nation rules allow us to replace an injured player before the tournament starts and we’ll make a decision on whether we want to do that in the next 24 hours.

“I have a lof of faith in this group of players and the loss of a player who commands the respct Adrian does has strengthened their resove to do well in the Four Nations.”

Enagland flew out from Auckland to Wellington at lunchtime today to begin preparations for their opening match against New Zealand at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night.

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