McNamara: Still nothing between my flying wingers
COACH Steve McNamara says there is nothing to choose between his England wingers – despite Josh Charnley and Ryan Hall appearing to cement their positions in the 80-12 win over Wales.
Charnley, whose 31 tries for Wigan enabled him to finish top of the Super League list in 2012, continued his prolific form to cross for four, whilst Hall also bagged a brace.
It left Hull's Tom Briscoe out in the cold again, but McNamara was quick to offer some hope for the FC star as he fights to win his starting spot back before next year's World Cup.
"There is not a lot to choose between all three blokes. It's virtually a toss of a coin to decide who plays those positions," he said.
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"Josh has been in tremendous form for his club and he got the nod this time around."
Wales' defeat means England will take on France in the November 11 final at the City of Salford Stadium.
However, they will have to face each other first next weekend at Hull KR's Craven Park to complete the opening round of games.
McNamara was delighted with his side's 14-try performance, as seven players won their first caps and stand-off Kevin Sinfield kicked 24 points on his first appearance as England captain.
"I'm very happy," McNamara said.
"We were on a bit of a hiding to nothing. Wales is an extremely tough place to come.
"We were expected to win and win well and, if we didn't do that, there would have been some questions asked. It certainly doesn't do us any harm to put on a performance like that.
"There were a host of different challenges – being resounding favourites was one of them – but we overcame most of them.
"We weren't picture perfect and we'll look to improve next week against France."
In addition to kicking 12 goals from 14 attempts, Sinfield was at the heart of his team's attacking display to lift the man-of-the-match award.
"It was probably the proudest moment of my career," Sinfield said.
"I feel very fortunate. It was great to get the result, that was the most important thing."
Wales scored tries either side of half-time through Christiaan Roets and Dan Fleming to avoid a whitewash and a repeat of their record 74-0 defeat by England in Bridgend in 2009.
But the manner of their sixth consecutive defeat leaves head coach Iestyn Harris with still much to do if his team are to be competitive in the 2013 World Cup and to push for a place in the world's top three by 2016.
HULL FC's Danny Houghton captained England Knights to a 62-24 victory over Scotland in the Alitalia European Cup.
Former team-mate Jordan Turner bagged a try and nine conversions, while Hull KR's David Scott goaled four of Scotland's tries.