Five most underrated players in England’s World Cup squad

Everyone has had their say on England’s squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup and we at Love Rugby League have picked the five most underrated players in the side.

Wayne Bennett named his 24-man squad that he has taken over to Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea for the World Cup this autumn.

And we have selected the five most underrated players in the squad that could ultimately be England’s heroes at the tournament.


Gareth Widdop and Luke Gale are the pair who are expected to start in the halves for England, with George Williams and Kevin Brown as the third and fourth options. Williams can also play at hooker though and could have a spot on the bench instead of James Roby because he can either slot in the halves and at nine.

He is, arguably, England’s best defensive half-back and in attack is fantastic to watch, too. He had the most assists in Super League in 2017 with 29 while also busting 79 tackles and is one of those players who can cause something from nothing.


Zak Hardaker was probably going to be England’s first choice full-back but with him not going to the World Cup, it is between Stefan Ratchford and Jonny Lomax who will don the No. 1 jersey. And they are both solid but very different options for Bennett.

But Ratchford is such a good player to have in the team because he is consistent. Although Warrington didn’t have the best year, Ratchford was still consistent, coming up with 19 assists, 78 tackle busts and having an average gain of 9.13 metres.


In recent years, England’s options for the centre role have been lackluster but this year it looks exciting and promising time around with the out and out centres being Mark Percival and Kallum Watkins, with the pair both having strong years at club level.

Percival doesn’t gain a lot of plaudits usually but he has been one of St Helens’ best players this year, making 28 appearances in Super League, scoring 16 tries and kicking 95 goals. He’s also made 13 assists and made 32 clean breaks this season.


The 2017 season has been one of frustration and torment for Ben Currie, with injuries playing a big part in his year, with the former Ireland international only managing to get on the field four times.

But Bennett has taken a punt on the back-rower, who can also play at centre, and it could prove to be the right choice because Currie is one of the best players in Super League on his day and is the type of player who could handle himself against the likes of Australia and New Zealand.


The Warriors star made not look like the biggest forward in the world, but that doesn’t faze him, he is one of the best forwards in the British game for sure. It seems like he has been around for ages but he is still only 24-years-old so there is still plenty more to come from him.

John Bateman was great for Wigan in the back end of the season after only returning from injury in June. You can see why the Warriors fans love him because he simply plays with his heart on his sleeve and is prepared to put his body on the line – to save a try or even score one and he could prove to be England’s secret weapon this autumn.

Do you agree with our five picks for the most underrated England players at the World Cup? Or should someone else be in this list? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Being a Saints fan I am going to say George Williams is the most valuable player in super league. Wigan would really struggle without this lad. I just hope he plays

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