Warriors duo on course for Melbourne

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There are always mind games ahead of any contest with Australia, but England scrum-half Matty Smith seems genuine enough when he says both he and captain Sean O’Loughlin should be fit for Sunday’s Four Nations showdown.

Being the only traditional No 7 on tour, you can imagine the unease for England head coach Steve McNamara when Wigan Warriors star Smith left Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium with a protective boot on a rolled ankle after Saturday’s opening win over Samoa.

However, despite still having his foot in ice yesterday, the player is adamant he will face the world champions in Melbourne and O’Loughlin, his Wigan team-mate who missed last week with a quad problem, is similarly positive.

“I went for a coffee with him this afternoon and he’s pretty confident,” said Super League Dream Team’s Smith.

“Lockers is going well in training and is working hard with the physio.

“He’s doing everything he can to play and we obviously want him to play. He’s our captain and really influential.

“Hopefully, he can get right and lead us out there on Sunday.

“I’m doing everything I can, too. I rolled my foot a little bit in the game and it swelled up afterwards.

“It’s just about getting the swelling down, but it’s been four days now and it’s really good.

“I got through a full training session yesterday and I’ve another three days to go so I’m working hard with the physio and icing it every day.

“I’m back in normal training now so I’ll definitely be playing on Sunday.”