• Rugby League World Cup

Chase dropped for World Cup semi-final

ESPN staff
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Rangi Chase has played in all four of England's World Cup games © PA Photos
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England have dropped Rangi Chase for Saturday's World Cup semi-final with New Zealand despite the half-back starting the previous four games for Steve McNamara's side.

Chase has been replaced by Gareth Widdop ahead of the Wembley showdown with the current world champions, while Carl Ablett has also been included in the 19-man squad at the expense of Michael McIlorum.

McNamara gave chase his England debut in October after the 27-year-old controversially chose to play for the side over his native New Zealand. Chase later backed his decision to choose England when revealing his family tree included English roots.

However, McNamara has opted to change his side ahead of the clash in London and maintains his players will have no issues dealing with pressure.

"As with every week, the squad is picked with not only the opposition in mind but the best combinations for ourselves," McNamara said.

"We have had a great week with our preparation and the players are ready to take on the world champions in what I believe is the biggest game we have been involved in since the Rugby League World Cup semi-final back in 2008.

"The players are well aware of the importance of the game and the improvements we have to make from our previous matches to give ourselves every chance of beating New Zealand.

"We will have to be at our best to win, but we'll relish the pressure of playing against a quality team on one of the biggest stages in world sport."

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