England squad to play Lebanon revealed

Alex Wamsley is set to come off the bench

England head coach Wayne Bennett has named his 21-man England squad to face Lebanon in the second game of Group in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.

Ben Currie has moved into the second-row to replace Sam Burgess, with Alex Walmsley coming off the bench.

Burgess is the only change to the starting 13, with the South Sydney Rabbitohs star set to be out for three to four weeks with a medial knee ligament injury. He has been replaced by Currie in the back-row.

Walmsley was meant to play against Australia but contracted a virus and failed to recover in time but he is back to full fitness and will get his chance this week by coming off the bench.

It won’t be an easy ride for the Three Lions on Saturday though as Lebanon won 29-18 against France last weekend.

And Bennett is looking forward to seeing how Walmsley gets on in his first ever Test match.

He said: “We were unfortunate to lose Sam [Burgess] early in the game against Australia but received some good news and we can now possibly get him back sooner than anticipated.

“Apart from Sam, everyone is fit, healthy and good to go against Lebanon. Friday’s result was disappointing but the players have shown they wanted to get straight back into it and we had a great day in hot temperatures on Monday.

“Alex [Walmsley] was in the matchday squad last week and he was unlucky not to make the field. He’s feeling good again and I want to see what he can offer against Lebanon.”

England 21-man squad to face Lebanon: 1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Kallum Watkins, 4. John Bateman, 5. Ryan Hall, 6. Gareth Widdop, 7. Luke Gale, 8. Chris Hill, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. James Graham, 11. Ben Currie, 12. Elliot Whitehead, 13. Sean O’Loughlin (C). Subs: 14. Alex Walmsley, 15. Chris Heighington, 16. Tom Burgess, 17. James Roby. Reserves: 18. George Williams, 19. Mike McMeeken, 20. Mark Percival, 21. Stefan Ratchford.


    • I can understand John Bateman playing against the Australians because of his defensive qualities, but surely, against Lebanon (who were pretty good last weekend)Mark Percival has to play

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