O’Loughlin and Farrell fit for Kiwi fight

Sean O'Loughlin is dumped to the ground by the Aussies in the Four Nations
Sean O'Loughlin is dumped to the ground by the Aussies in the Four Nations

WIGAN forwards Sean O’Loughlin and Liam Farrell will both be available for England’s do-or-die Four Nations clash with New Zealand on Saturday.

The back-row pair were placed on report for suspect tackles during the 16-12 defeat by Australia on Sunday but an NRL spokesman said that no charges were brought from the two matches over the weekend.

O’Loughlin, who returned from a quad muscle strain to lead England for the first time, was put on report for an alleged trip on Australian hooker Cameron Smith while Farrell was reported for a possible “chicken wing” tackle on full-back Greg Inglis that incensed Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens.

England discovered the relieving news after arriving in Dunedin on Monday to prepare for Saturday’s game at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, where a victory by 10 points would secure a place in the final.

Australia forward Greg Bird was put on report for a possible “spear” tackle on O’Loughlin but also avoided any threat of suspension.

However, Bird’s second-row partner Beau Scott will miss Australia’s final round-robin game against Samoa in Wollongong on Sunday after suffering a low-grade hamstring tear in the opening stages of the game in Melbourne.

Scott, who had scans in Melbourne today, will remain in camp with the squad ahead of a potential return if Australia clinch their place in the Wellington final on November 15.