McNamara confident of England’s quality

England coach Steve McNamara has named an England squad which he believes can challenge and beat the Kiwis this autumn.

McNamara has included seven uncapped players in the group, all of whom featured in England‘s Academy tour of Australia in 2012.

These are: Ben Currie, John Bateman, Joe Burgess, George Williams, Luke Gale, Jermaine McGillvary, and NRL based forward Mike Cooper.

Six players have not been considered due to them undergoing surgery on injuries during the close season. These are: South Sydney Rabbitohs’ George Burgess, St HelensAlex Walmsley, Leeds’ Stevie Ward, Brisbane BroncosJack Reed, Warrington’s Stefan Ratchford and Wigan’s Joel Tomkins.

“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.

“We are fully aware that we will need to work exceptionally hard and play to a very high level to win the tournament. Our aim is to win our first home series against southern hemisphere opposition since Great Britain defeated New Zealand in 2007.”

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