Jonny Lomax is expected to be fit for England’s World Cup quarter-final showdown if, as seems likely, they reach the knockout stage of the competition.
The St Helens full back is recovering from a calf injury which he suffered during training and will miss Sunday’s final group game against France in Perth.
But England boss Wayne Bennett is confident Lomax will be back in business sooner rather than later along with key forward Sam Burgess, who is making faster progress than first thought after picking up a knee injury against Australia.
Hooker James Roby, however, is back in the squad - one of two St Helens-born players set to face the French.
The other is Warrington’s Kevin Brown who played his junior rugby for Thatto Heath Crusaders, Haydock Warriors, Blackbrook and Pilkington Recs.
Brown, whose previous professional clubs include Wigan Warriors, Huddersfield Gisnts and Widnes Vikings, said: “It’s the pinnacle of my career playing in a World Cup.
“I’ve played for my country a few times in the Four Nations and mid-season Tests but nothing beats featuring in the biggest RL tournament in rhe world. and it is something I will cherish forever.
“We will not be taking France lightly given what is at stake.
“We are not writing them off by any means. They’re a talented side.”