Wigan Warriors' Sean O'Loughlin assesses his chances of playing in England's third Test against New Zealand
England captain Sean O'Loughlin says he will do everything he can to be available for the third Test '“ but admits he chances of playing are 'slim', writes Phil Wilkinson.
The 35-year-old missed Sunday’s second Test with a calf injury which has plagued his season with Wigan Warriors.
He started the opening Test in Hull, which England won 18-16, but withdrew early and missed Sunday’s series-clinching victory in Liverpool.
O’Loughlin will remain in camp this week and undergo treatment but said: “I’ve probably got a slim chance but realistically I may struggle.
“I’ll crack on this week and see how it goes.”
He was resigned to the role of spectator at Anfield as England clinched the series with a come-from-behind 20-14 victory.
“It was a nervous watch but an enjoyable game, very tense,” said O’Loughlin, who last week formally signed a new one-year deal with Wigan for 2019.
“It’s good to get the series wrapped up.
“The Kiwis started the second-half really strong but I knew we were in reaching distance, international games are like that and hang in and hope momentum swings back your way.”
The RFL are expecting a bumper crowd at Leeds’ Elland Road as England target a 3-0 whitewash against Michael Maguire’s New Zealand outfit.
With George Burgess suspended for four games for gouging, and hooker Daryl Clark out with a broken rib, Warriors’ Joe Greenwood and Warrington ace Stefan Ratchford – a former St Pats junior – may come into the frame.
Australian Gerard Sutton has been appointed to referee the match (kick-off 3.15pm) ahead of Robert Hicks, who took control of the first game.