Graham back for Ireland clash

Ex-Saints prop James Graham.
Ex-Saints prop James Graham.

England have decided not to appeal the one-match ban handed out to forward Sam Burgess for his high tackle during Saturday’s 28-20 opening World Cup defeat by Australia at the Millennium Stadium.

The South Sydney favourite was placed on report by referee Henry Perenara for the swinging arm that concussed Brisbane second rower Sam Thaiday in the second half of the match and on Monday was given a one-match ban by an international match-review panel after being found guilty of a grade A careless tackle.

Burgess had the right to contest the decision at a hearing at the Rugby Football League’s Leeds headquarters but England announced on Tuesday morning that he will not be appealing the decision.

It means he will miss Saturday’s second group A game against Ireland at a sold-out John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield but is set to return against Fiji at Hull a week later.

England could have Wigan loose forward Sean O’Loughlin and Canterbury Bulldogs prop James Graham back to face the Irish to offset the loss of their most influential forward.