Westwood charged over Final clash
Warrington forward Ben Westwood left for England's training camp in South Africa on Monday afternoon with a disciplinary hearing hanging over him which threatens his availability for the opening World Cup match.
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The 32-year-old second rower has been charged by the Rugby Football League's match-review panel with punching Wigan stand-off Blake Green during the early stages of Saturday's Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.
The punch, which left Green with a nasty facial injury, was seen clearly on television replays but was not spotted at the time by referee Richard Silverwood, who placed the incident on report.
Westwood is facing a grade B charge, which carries a suspension of either one or two matches, and will appear in front of a disciplinary hearing via Skype from the England team hotel in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.
He would be able to serve a one-match ban in the warm-up game against Italy at Salford on October 19 but a two-match ban would rule him out of England's World Cup opener against Australia in Cardiff a week later.
Westwood, whose Warrington side lost 30-16 to Wigan, was one of eight players from Saturday's bruising Grand Final who all reported for duty in time for their flight from Manchester to Johannesburg, where they were due to meet up with head coach Steve McNamara and the rest of the England squad who left last Wednesday.
The latest contingent included Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin, whose only matches for his club in the last two months have been the Challenge Cup final and Grand Final as he battled with calf and Achilles injuries.
The loose forward looks to have come through his first game for six weeks unscathed, much to the relief of his Wigan and England team-mate Sam Tomkins.
"Lockers is Wigan's best player and he did everything to get back for the Grand Final," Tomkins said. "Just to have his name on the team sheet made such a difference.
"It lifted us because he's the kind of person you want in your team and he will be vital for England."