Wigan Warriors' O'Loughlin to miss Anfield Test - updated
Sean O'Loughlin will not play in Sunday's second Test against New Zealand at Anfield.
He suffered a recurrence of a calf injury in last Saturday’s first Test win in Hull.
His replacement as captain will be confirmed when England name their 19-man squad tomorrow. James Graham would appear the obvious front-runner, given he has previously led his country.
Warrior Joe Greenwood is one of the forwards in Wayne Bennett’s 24-man squad who didn’t feature in the opener, which England won 18-16.
England have not indicated whether O’Loughlin, 35, will be fit and available for the third Test at Leeds’ Elland Road the following week.
His Wigan team-mates Oliver Gildart, John Bateman, Sam Tomkins and George Williams were also in the squad for the first Test.
O’Loughlin, who is staying on at Wigan next season, has battled the calf problem for several months.
“You can replace him,” said Tomkins at the England team hotel in Manchester.
“You won’t get exactly the same and whether you get better or worse, I don’t know, but Lockers is one of our best players without doubt.
“He’s the best player every time he pulls the jersey on for Wigan and when he plays for England you know you’re going to get a minimum of eight out of 10, he plays well or really well.
“It’s a luxury to have someone like that in your squad. He will be missed this week but it will give someone else an opportunity to come in and make an impact. With the strength of the squad, no one is going to come in and be a weak link.”
Huddersfield winger Jermaine McGillvary said of O’Loughlin: “He’s one of if not the best player I’ve ever played with.
“He’s going to be a miss but we’ve got a lot of strength in depth so someone will come in and take his place and they won’t let us down.”