James Graham, the St Helens prop forward, has been handed the England captaincy for the Four Nations in New Zealand after Adrian Morley was ruled out of the tournament with a biceps injury.
Graham will step into the breach when Steve McNamara's side open their campaign against New Zealand on Saturday in Wellington. "When Steve McNamara offered me the captaincy I had no hesitation in saying yes," said the 25-year-old Graham yesterday.
Meanwhile, in rugby union the British & Irish Lions will kick off their 2013 tour to Australia with a curtain-raiser match against the Barbarians in Hong Kong, it was confirmed yesterday.
John Feehan, the Lions chief executive, said: "To be able to confirm the Lions will break new ground in Hong Kong will ensure the tour to Australia is even more special."