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Four Saints In World Cup Squad

England Head Coach Wayne Bennett has selected his 24-man squad that will represent England at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

It includes James Roby, Jonny Lomax, Mark Percival and Alex Walmsley.

Roby returns to the squad having last featured for England against New Zealand in 2015.

It will be the 31-year-old’s third World Cup after representing England in 2008 and 2013.

Walmsley joins Warrington’s Ben Currie as one of two uncapped players in the squad.

Captained by Sean O’Loughlin, the squad includes Luke Gale, who was crowned Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel winner last week, Dally M Half-Back of the Year, Gareth Widdop and Betfred Super League’s top metre-maker, Alex Walmsley.

The 24-man list features 18 players that travelled to Sydney in May for the mid-season Pacific Test against Samoa – a game in which England won 30-10.

On the squad, Wayne Bennett, said: “Selecting the final 24 with the help of my coaching staff was tough and that was down to the effort and performances of many players throughout the season.

“The competitiveness of Super League and NRL and knowing the goal of playing for your country in a World Cup has made many raise their game and become better athletes.

“The England programme has been very active leading into this tournament and having the squad meet up on regular occasions – on and off the field – has put us in a positive place before everyone gets into camp.

“We had to put the disappointment of the Four Nations behind us quickly and the meetings that followed that tournament set out what was required to be successful in the World Cup. Everyone has fully bought into this and we can’t wait to get started.”

On the World Cup, Bennett, added: “This is shaping up to be a very competitive tournament. Squads are being confirmed now and it’s clear to see the spread of talent will add to some exciting games.

“The organisers have been doing a fantastic job in generating excitement in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

“There’s some travel involved but we’re looking forward to spending time in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth during the group stage.”

England:

John Bateman (6, Wigan Warriors, Bradford Dudley Hill)
Kevin Brown (6, Warrington Wolves, Thatto Heath Crusaders)
Sam Burgess (18, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)
Thomas Burgess (14, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)
Ben Currie (0, Warrington Wolves, Golborne Parkside)
Luke Gale (4, Castleford Tigers, Middleton Marauders)
James Graham (33, St George Illawarra Dragons, Blackbrook)
Ryan Hall (32, Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Chris Heighington (5, Cronulla Sharks, Umina Bunnies)
Chris Hill (19, Warrington Wolves, New Springs Lions)
Josh Hodgson (11, Canberra Raiders, East Hull)
Jonny Lomax (4, St Helens, Orrell St James)
Jermaine McGillvary (6, Huddersfield Giants, Deighton Juniors)
Mike McMeeken (1, Castleford Tigers, Staines Titans)
Sean O’Loughlin (18, Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Mark Percival (3, St Helens, Halton Farnworth Rockets)
Stefan Ratchford (2, Warrington Wolves, Wigan St Patricks)
James Roby (26, St Helens, Blackbrook)
Scott Taylor (2, Hull FC, Skirlaugh)
Alex Walmsley (0, St Helens, Dewsbury Celtic)
Kallum Watkins (20, Leeds Rhinos, Latchford Albion)
Elliott Whitehead (10, Canberra Raiders, West Bowling)
Gareth Widdop (21, St George Illawarra Dragons, King Cross)
George Williams (5, Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

Schedule:

Friday, October 20: Pre-tournament – England v Affiliated States (nib Stadium, Perth)
Friday, October 27: Opening game of RLWC – England v Australia (AAMI Park, Melbourne)
Saturday, November 4: England v Lebanon (Allianz Stadium, Sydney)
Sunday, November 12: England v France (nib Stadium, Perth)

All of England’s Rugby League World Cup matches will be broadcast live on the BBC.

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