Peacock welcomes Hock return
England captain Jamie Peacock has welcomed Gareth Hock back into the international fold, claiming his return will be bad news for the Exiles.
Peacock was speaking ahead of Saturday's opening international Origin game.
The 28-year-old Hock is set to make his 10th international appearance at Langtree Park, almost three years exactly since winning his last England cap against France in Paris, after which he tested positive for cocaine.
The Wigan forward is back in favour after serving a two-year ban and guaranteed to face the Exiles after producing the best form of his career.
"I think it's great for Gaz," said Peacock at England's training camp at Loughborough.
"It's a good story. People make mistakes but it's a good example of how people should be given a second chance in life.
"I don't think anyone would disagree that he is head and shoulders probably the best forward in the competition.
"That's good for England because people don't like playing against him and I know the Exiles won't like playing against him."
England coach Steve McNamara ignored Hock for last year's Four Nations Series but has been delighted with his form for the Stobart Super League leaders this year.
"You never quite know when someone is out for that period how they will come back," he said. "Two years is a long time.
"We all understood how good Gareth was before. He could have gone one of two ways and thankfully he's gone the right way.
"He paid the price for what he did and served his time. A great deal of credit needs to go to him for the way he has come back and also for the way his club managed him on and off the field in terms of rehabilitating him, rather than throwing him to the wolves."
It will be Hock's first game since completing up a two-week ban for his dismissal for punching during Wigan's derby win over St Helens at the Magic Weekend in Manchester.
"I've had two weeks off so I'm a bit fresh," he said. "I'm looking forward to this week, it's a big test for me. It's been hard getting here but I'm feeling good again."
While Hock is assured of his place, McNamara admits he has several selection issues to resolve before announcing his team on Thursday.
His biggest dilemmas will be deciding whether to break up last year's half-back pairing of Kevin Sinfield and Rangi Chase to make way for Danny Brough or to give Super League's leading tryscorer Josh Charnley a debut on the wing in place of Tom Briscoe or Ryan Hall.
"Everyone is fit and healthy so we've got 21 players all itching to play," McNamara said.
"Obviously four good players are going to miss out, which is the case with international rugby league.
"I expected people to pick up knocks over the weekend with the nature of our game but, not only have they come in fit, they're not carrying any bumps either.
"We've got options in quite a few areas."
England's media session was held with exactly 500 days to go to the 2013 World Cup and, although McNamara's squad selection has been made with that in mind, he insists his present focus is on the first of two Origin clashes with the Exiles.
"The long-term aim is the World Cup and a lot of our programmes are designed for sustainable international success but we'd like to have it now at the same time," he said.
"This is a very important series in its own right and individually a very important game."
The Exiles have been hit by the withdrawal of Wigan's in-form duo Brett Finch and George Carmont, but McNamara is still expecting a tough test as England look to avenge last year's 16-12 defeat.
"I just think they've got such a strong group to select from," he said.
"If you look through the 17 or 18 players they've available now, it's a formidable team still.
"We want a competitive game and we're guaranteed to get that this week, regardless of whether they've got some players out injured or not."