13 Nov 2008

Mind games follow England team announcement

8:57 am on 13 November 2008

Mystery surrounds the make-up of the England league team for Saturday night's World Cup semi-final against the Kiwis in Brisbane.

England's coach Tony Smith on Wednesday announced a squad of 19 that didn't include halfback Danny McGuire, one of the players New Zealand fear most.

Also missing was the form winger Ade Gardner, while fullback Paul Wellens, a major injury concern, was named in the squad.

An England spokesman said players not named could end up playing.

England's cloak and dagger approach appears to be a direct response to New Zealand not naming their team as scheduled.

The Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney refused to reveal anything about his line-up other than to rule out the injured centre Steve Matai.