End of the road for Morley?
Steve McNamara's latest England squad casts a major doubt over the international career of Great Britain's most-capped player.
Adrian Morley is a modern rugby league great, and while McNamara insists the international door remains open for the 35-year-old prop, my fear would be that the door is creaking shut.
Morley could yet return to the squad for the second of two Exiles games later in the summer, but on form and fitness - criteria the England coach continues to point to in underlining his selections, his absence is no real surprise. Morley is only two games back from a neck injury and has yet to commit to playing into 2013.
I can't think there are many rugby league romantics who would not want to see 'Moz' given the opportunity to bow out at next year's home World Cup.
Warrington forward Adrian Morley has been left out of the England squad to face the Exiles. Photo: Getty
But realistically there are younger, hungrier props in better form than the great man, and although skipper Jamie Peacock will also be 35 later this year, I do doubt the prospects of seeing England's twin towers together at the World Cup.
The two other big stories are recalls for Morley's Warrington team-mate Ryan Atkins and Wigan forward Gareth Hock. Atkins has been left out in the cold by McNamara since opting out of international duty last year and hasn't played for his country now in two years.
The Wolves centre was privately seething at being left out of the last elite training squad when he was arguably Super League's in-form centre. Atkins maintains he pulled out of England duty for "personal reasons" and to nurse an injury.
I understand McNamara saw it differently and has questioned his commitment. The pair have since chatted, with the player being reminded of what his coach expects of an international player. Hock is in line for his first England cap since being banned for cocaine two years ago.
At the time of his drugs suspension he would have been one of the first forward names on the team sheet. It is testament to his immense talent and animal hunger for the game that he has forced his way back in, with McNamara impressed by his recent fiery displays for table-topping Wigan.
Even a two-match for fighting at the Magic Weekend couldn't dissuade McNamara from recalling Hock. "He is the real strike we have been missing," says McNamara, who called the recent brawl "part of Gareth's game, an aggressive streak that we don't want to lose". Hull's Danny Tickle is rewarded too, with a first call-up since 2009.
The selection of only one "plastic Brit" - Castleford's Maori half-back Rangi Chase - may go some way to appeasing critics of McNamara's policy of selecting his strongest eligible squad regardless of origin. I have spoken to a number of Super League players angered by the move to unearthing talent in Australia, and indeed uncovering Aussie talent in Super League, with British ancestry.
McNamara remains steadfast in his strategy, insisting competition can only make the squad stronger. His detractors claim his policy goes against one of the key reasons for implementing the controversial Super League licensing system - namely allowing the unpressured development of young British talent at clubs without the need to panic-buy foreigners to avoid relegation.
That said Danny Brough is in - a former Scotland international. In my opinion he is the most dangerous scrum-half in the game at the moment and his kicking game will be key against the Exiles.
Of the 12 names to be dropped from the Elite squad for these two games against the Exiles, the best overseas players in Super League, Leeds centre Zak Hardaker and St Helens scrum-half Jonny Lomax may count themselves unlucky. However two in-form Wigan Warriors, in hooker Michael McIlorum and Darrell Goulding, may have been waiting by the phone with a good deal more confidence.
Eyebrows were raised when England football boss Roy Hodgson reacted to Liverpool's woeful season by picking more of their players for Euro 2012 than from any other club.
There is a parallel here with Super League champions Leeds, with half a dozen Rhinos dominating the squad in the midst of one of the club's worst ever Super League seasons. Guaranteed inclusions were skipper Peacock and Ryan Hall as arguably the best winger in the game.
Rob Burrow may have got the nod over McIlorum for his match-winning spark and versatility. McNamara clearly likes the cover that Carl Ablett offers at centre and in the pack, while Wigan fans will have strong claims that Goulding should have taken his spot. Jamie-Jones Buchanan remains one of the game's most dangerous forwards while Kevin Sinfield gets another chance to forge a half-back pairing with Chase.
McNamara's mantra remains continued improvement ahead of the World Cup while he will want to see the team start winning games with style.