England Rugby League half-back Rangi Chase has been ruled out of the Autumn Internationals after suffering a groin injury.
The Castleford Tigers playmaker complained of the problem during last week’s high-altitude camp, where the national team spent 10-days at the impressive NWU campus in Potchefstroom, South Africa. A scan revealed that the former Man of Steel will miss up to three internationals against Wales on Saturday at Wrexham and against France at Hull KR’s MS3 Craven Park on Saturday November 3 and the final should England progress on Sunday November 11.
“It is a great shame that Rangi will miss the matches against France and Wales,” said coach Steve McNamara.
“He has trained hard during our camp and has been an integral member of the squad. The lad is devastated to miss out. He was looking forward to the month ahead with England and making a huge impact.
“The important thing now is for him to rest, rehabilitate and get himself ready for the new season. He has a big 12 months ahead and can be part of our World Cup aspirations.”
“He suffered a groin injury while training at the recent high-altitude camp in South Africa,” said England Rugby League chief medical officer Dr Chris Brookes.
“Although Rangi’s injury is responding to treatment, it has been decided that this improvement has not been sufficient for him to participate in the tournament. The England Rugby League medical staff will continue to monitor his progress and rehabilitation to ensure he is fully recovered from this injury.”
At this stage, England will go into the tournament with 23 players but McNamara may bring reinforcements in as the tournament progresses.
“I will stick with the current group of players and will probably not add to the squad,” he said.
“I do have the option, if I desire, to bring in an extra player but at this stage I don’t envisage adding to the 23 now that Rangi is out.”
England’s opening match in the Autumn International Series will see them face Wales at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground in Wrexham on Saturday October 27 (2.30pm).
Their first home fixture takes place a week later, Saturday November 3, at MS3 Craven Park in Hull when England host France in a match which also kicks off at 2.30pm.
The Autumn International Series concludes with the final at Salford City Stadium on Sunday November 11 (5.00pm).
Tickets for the 2012 Autumn International Series cost just £12 for adults and £6 concessions and can be purchased by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk