Thomas Burgess Named in England Squad
Rabbitohs prop forward, Thomas Burgess, has been named in England coach Steve McNamara’s squad for the upcoming international series against France and New Zealand.
Burgess will have the opportunity to add to his five Test caps during the series, having represented England previously after making his international debut in 2013.
The 24-man squad will be captained by Wigan Warrior, Sean O’Loughlin, and includes 16 survivors from last year’s Four Nations in Australia and New Zealand.
McNamara has selected eight uncapped players with four that featured in England’s Academy tour of Australia in 2012 - Warrington Wolves forward Ben Currie, Wigan Warriors trio John Bateman, Joe Burgess and George Williams, First Utility Super League young player of the year. Castleford Tigers half-back Luke Gale and leading try-scorer in Super League Jermaine McGillvary, from the Huddersfield Giants, are rewarded after a strong season in the domestic campaign. NRL based forward Mike Cooper, who toured with the national side last year, is included but has yet to be capped.
St Helens hooker James Roby, Huddersfield centre Leroy Cudjoe and Warrington’s Ben Westwood all return after missing selection 12 months ago through injury.
"We spent a long time selecting this squad and there were some close calls with a lot of competition for places,” said McNamara.
"There is a tremendous challenge in front of us against the best Rugby League nation in the world. New Zealand will be formidable opponents.
“There is a strong core of players that have come through the England system over recent years and have the desire, appetite and quality to do English Rugby League proud in this tournament.
“Our aim is to win our first home series against southern hemisphere opposition since Great Britain defeated New Zealand in 2007.”
England’s international schedule kicks off at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday October 24 with a match against France.
The three-game series against New Zealand starts at the KC Stadium, Hull on Sunday November 1 (5.00pm local) moving on to The Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on Saturday November 7 (2.30pm local). The series concludes at the DW Stadium, Wigan on Saturday November 14 (1.00pm local).
Tickets for England v France at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday October 24 (2.00pm local) cost from as little as £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and £22.50 for a family ticket. Please visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or call the Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113.
Tickets to the three-game New Zealand series cost from £22 for adults and £10 for concessions per game. A three-match package costing just £45 for adults and £22.50 for concessions is also available.
To purchase tickets please visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or call the Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113.
The England squad for the 2015 International Series is:
John Bateman, Wigan Warriors, Bradford Dudley Hill
Joe Burgess, Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge
Thomas Burgess, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor
Mike Cooper, St George Illawarra Dragons, Latchford Albion
Leroy Cudjoe, Newsome Panthers, Huddersfield Giants
Ben Currie, Warrington Wolves, Golborne Parkside
Liam Farrell, Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks
Brett Ferres, Huddersfield Giants, Smawthorne Panthers
Luke Gale, Castleford Tigers, Middleton Marauders
James Graham, Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, Blackbrook
Ryan Hall, Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders
Zak Hardaker, Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions
Chris Hill, Warrington Wolves, New Spring Lions
Josh Hodgson, Canberra Raiders, East Hull
Jermaine McGillvary, Huddersfield Giants, Deighton Juniors
Sean O’Loughlin (captain), Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks
James Roby, St Helens, Blackbrook
Matty Smith, Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook
Sam Tomkins, New Zealand Warriors, Wigan St Patricks
Kallum Watkins, Leeds Rhinos, Latchford Albion
Ben Westwood, Warrington Wolves, Normanton Knights
Elliot Whitehead, Catalans Dragons, West Bowling
Gareth Widdop, St George Illawarra Dragons, King Cross
George Williams, Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks