England Captain Sean O’Loughlin has failed to recover from a groin strain picked up in last weeks nailbiting win over Tonga and will miss the World Cup Final against Australia, which kicks off at 9am tomorrow morning.
It is heartbreak for O’Loughlin, who like hooker Josh Hodgson, will miss the biggest game of his career. It is the first time England have made the Rugby League World Cup Final since 1995 and surely with ‘Lockers’ being 35 years old, it’ll have been his last chance to play in the games biggest showpiece.
Sam Burgess will take the Captain’s armband and will also replace O’Loughlin at loose forward, with Ben Currie coming off the bench to start in the second row. The final place in the 17 will be taken by St Helens full-back Jonny Lomax who will be on the bench.
Burgess again takes on Australia only two years after the lowest point in his career when he was burdened with England’s failure at the 2015 Union World Cup. He will now get the chance to right those wrongs in the 13 man code against Australia, the nation that knocked the final nail in England’s coffin at Twickenham.