McNamara names England squad

New England coach Steve McNamara has named three potential debutants in his 19-man-squad to face Bobbie Goulding‘s France side in the annual Gillette Fusion International on June 12th.

One of those to be included is second-row forward Joel Tomkins who has impressed with a series of performances for table-toppers Wigan this season and will join brother Sam in the squad.

The duo could be the first siblings to play in an England fixture together since Widnes’s Hulme brothers, David and Paul, in 1989.

Joel Tomkins, like his brother Sam, is an excellent competitor with a first class approach who has been in top form all year and deserves his place,” said McNamara.

Gareth Widdop, the Melbourne Storm back, is another surprise inclusion displacing the reliable Hull Kingston Rovers full-back Shaun Briscoe and he is joined by Bradford’s Nick Scruton in winning his first call-up.

Continued McNamara: “Nick Scruton’s inclusion is reward for 12 months of very consistent, explosive form for Bradford and Gareth Widdop is a player who really excites me.

“I have done a lot of research on Gareth, who is already a very good player with the potential to be an outstanding one.

“His first team appearances have been limited at Melbourne due to being second choice behind the world’s number one full-back Billy Slater but I feel that this is the perfect opportunity and timing to take a closer look at an already very exciting young talent.

“With Gareth, as with many players in this squad, we have one eye on the here and now and one eye on the future and our ambitions to win the Rugby League World Cup in 2013.”

The nineteen players will meet at a camp on Monday 7th June to begin preparations for this Autumn’s Gillette Four Nations tournament in Australia.

England will face France on 12th June at Leigh Sports Village and tickets are still available, costing just £10 (£5 concessions). Call 0844 856 11 13 or visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk for more information.

Full England Squad:

Chris Bridge, Adrian Morley, Ben Westwood (all Warrington Wolves), Tom Briscoe (Hull FC), Sam Burgess (South Sydney), Kyle Eastmond, James Graham, James Roby (all St Helens), Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers), Ryan Hall, Danny McGuire, Jamie PeacockKevin Sinfield (all Leeds Rhinos) Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Tomkins, Joel Tomkins (all Wigan Warriors), Nick Scruton (Bradford Bulls), Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers), Gareth Widdop (Melbourne Storm).

 

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