Kangaroos enforcer gets nod for World Cup final

Aaron Woods warms up ahead of a Kangaroos training session.
Aaron Woods warms up ahead of a Kangaroos training session. DAN HIMBRECHTS

RUGBY LEAGUE: Aaron Woods has confirmed he'll need a painkilling injection in order to take the field for Australia in the Rugby League World Cup final against England on Saturday.

Woods aggravated an AC joint injury in his shoulder in last week's semi-final against Fiji and there was some doubt about whether he'd be fit to face off against the English.

The Canterbury-bound prop said medical staff assured him the injury wouldn't worsen if he plays.

"I had my first run today, didn't do any contact, but it feels pretty good,” Woods said of his shoulder.

"I've just got to do rehab all week, no contact at training and probably just get needled before the game. It can't get worse, it just needs a bit of rest.

"I sat down with the physio and doc and they just said it can't get any worse, it'll probably be aggravated throughout the week and afterwards for a couple of weeks.

"It's a pretty common injury in rugby league, the AC joint, so it's just something I have to put up with in the meantime.”

Josh McGuire is battling an ankle injury and missed training yesterday but backrower Matt Gillett said the lock would play.

"He'll be fine, it was just a bit of a precaution there with his ankle,” Gillett said.

"He'll just stay off his feet as much as he can and I'm sure he'll be at training tomorrow.”

For England, coach Wayne Bennett has named James Roby as Josh Hodgson's starting hooker replacement.

Hodgson will be sidelined for up to nine months after suffering an ACL injury.

Chris Heighington comes onto the bench, while Sean O'Loughlin has been named despite picking up a shoulder issue last weekend.


Saturday, December 2, Suncorp Stadium, 8pm (AEDT)

Australia squad: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Dane Gagai, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Josh Dugan, 5 Valentine Holmes, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Cameron Smith, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Boyd Cordner, 12 Matt Gillett, 13 Josh McGuire, 14 Wade Graham, 15 Jordan McLean, 16 Reagan Cambell-Gillard, 17 Tyson Frizell 18 Felise Kaufusi, 19 Tom Trbojevic, 20 Josh Mansour, 21 James Maloney

England squad: 1 Gareth Widdop, 2 Jermaine McGillvary, 3 Kallum Watkins, 4 John Bateman, 5 Ryan Hall, 6 Kevin Brown, 7 Luke Gale, 8 Chris Hill, 9 James Roby, 10 James Graham, 11 Sam Burgess, 12 Elliot Whitehead, 13 Sean O'Loughlin, 14 Alex Walmsley 15. Thomas Burgess, 16 Ben Currie, 17 Chris Heighington, 18 Jonny Lomax, 19 Scott Taylor, 20 George Williams, 21 Mark Percival

Topics:  aaron woods england josh hodgson kangaroos rugby league world cup 2017 world cup final

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