Jon Wilkin named England captain

England coach Steve McNamara has named Jon Wilkin as captain ahead of the side’s game against the Exiles.

Wilkin takes over from Jamie Peacock, who announced his international retirement following England‘s 18-10 win over the Exiles in June.

Danny Brough and Matty Smith will form a new-look half back pairing as McNamara looks to blood fresh players ahead of the Rugby League World Cup next season. Stefan Ratchford and Scott Taylor are also England debutants, with Ratchford starting at full back while Taylor is expected to come off the bench.

Carl Ablett, a surprise selection at centre for the first game at Langtree Park, will start in the second row alongside Wilkin. Jamie Jones-Buchanan will start at loose forward.

McNamara says the partnership of Smith and Brough excites him.

He said: ““They have been in tremendous form in the Super League and I know they have the ability to step up and perform at this level. They will complement each other’s skills and can form a devastating partnership.

“We have made a number of changes from the first game and it is an exciting opportunity to see some real quality young players coming in and staking a claim for a regular place in the side.”

England face the Exiles on Wednesday night.

 

England team to face Exiles

Stefan Ratchford
Josh Charnley
Leroy Cudjoe
Ryan Atkins
Tom Briscoe
Danny Brough
Matty Smith
Eorl Crabtree
James Roby
Gareth Carvell
Carl Ablett
Jon Wilkin (c)
Jamie Jones-Buchanan

Rob Burrow
Liam Farrell
Lee Mossop
Scott Taylor

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