Widdop injury blow for England

England stand-off Gareth Widdop is a major doubt for the Test against Samoa after picking up a knee injury in the NRL on Tuesday.

Widdop limped off just before half-time in Tuesday’s ANZAC Day match between St George Illawarra Dragons and Sydney Roosters with a suspected medial ligament tear.

Dragons’ boss Paul McGregor confirmed Widdop was unlikely to be available for the England game.

“You’d have to say so at this stage,” McGregor said in the post-match press conference.

“He’s come off with a knee and Gareth doesn’t like missing footy. Obviously coming off and not being able to run, he won’t be playing I wouldn’t think.”

The 28-year-old was named in Wayne Bennett’s 20-man squad on Monday, but Warrington’s Stefan Ratchford, St Helens’ scrum-half Matty Smith or Canberra half-back Blake Austin – who qualifies through his grandmother – could now receive a call-up.

England will face Samoa at Campbelltown Sports Ground in Sydney on Saturday, 6th May.

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