Sam Tomkins rested for England while Joe Batchelor and Kai Pearce-Paul set for debuts

Josh McAllister
Joe Batchelor

England captain and full-back Sam Tomkins has not been included in England’s 19-man squad to take on Greece, while Joe Batchelor and Kai Pearce-Paul are set to win their first caps. 

Canberra Raiders skipper Elliott Whitehead makes way for St Helens back-rower Batchelor, who featured in the 50-0 warm-up victory over Fiji, crossing for a try. 

Wigan youngster Pearce-Paul is expected to play in the centres in replacement of Kallum Watkins, who misses the clash after suffering a head knock against France. 

George Williams takes over the captaincy for England, with Jack Welsby looking likely to replace Tomkins at full-back.

England take on Greece in their final group game at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane on Saturday.

“The team is going to be slightly different but the intent will be the same,” said head coach Shaun Wane. “We’ve got 24 people in the squad and I need to see everybody.

“I’ve got two very talented players making their Test debuts for our great country. I’m excited to see them play. The team I’ve selected for Saturday is very strong.

“I want everybody fit, ready and hungry. It’s vital that everybody plays and I want to be fair. It’s the right thing to do. I want them all to play.

“This game will go a long way to shaping my team. I want to make a choice from 24 players. I want the decision to get to 17 to be a very hard one to make.”

Joe Batchelor and Kai Pearce-Paul set for England debuts

England’s 19-man squad: Makinson, Hall, Welsby, Williams, Burgess, Thompson, Bateman, Radley, Young, Knowles, Lees, Cooper, Hill, Ackers, McMeeken, Sneyd, Batchelor, Oledzki, Pearce-Paul.

This will be England’s first-ever international against Greece, and the first rugby league international played at Bramall Lane.

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