McNamara looks for England to strike the right balance for pivotal battle against Kiwis

England coach Steve McNamara.
England coach Steve McNamara.
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ENGLAND head coach Steve McNamara has reported no fresh injuries as he prepares his side for Saturday’s crucial second Test against New Zealand.

The hosts can win the series if they prosper at London’s Olympic Stadium where 45,000 tickets have already been sold for the first-ever game of rugby league at that venue.

England’s 26-12 win over the Kiwis at Hull on Sunday puts them in a position of strength as they look to secure a first series triumph since Great Britain defeated the Kiwis in 2007.

McNamara could go with an unchanged side and said: “We’ve had the usual bumps and bruises after a very physical game.

“We’re on the field this afternoon (Wednesday) and have recovered well.

“Part of the reason being in this (St George’s Park) complex is it allows us to recover really well.

“Everyone will participate today at some point, some more than others, and we’ll see from there.

“I really want to see how people are as it’s a short turnaround for both teams going into this game.

“I’ve some thoughts and ideas on it but I want to check a few things.

“We know it’s going to be a really tough challenge again against New Zealand on Saturday.”

The likes of Huddersfield Giants duo Jermaine McGillvary and Leroy Cudjoe plus Castleford Tigers scrum-half Luke Gale are some of the six members of the 23-man squad yet to be involved against either France or New Zealand.

Asked if in an ideal world, he would like to retain the same side, McNamara admitted: “Consistency in selection is always important if possible.

“But at the same time you have to look thoroughly at the game and see areas of improvement - that’s on the training field or in reviewing the game - and whether (changes can) improve the performance. There is a balance.”

Just 5,000 tickets remain for Saturday’s game while the third Test at Wigan is expected to be sold-out tomorrow.