Trio ruled out of Great Britain tour

Drew Darbyshire

Sam Burgess, Kallum Watkins and Stevie Ward have been ruled out of Great Britain’s tour of the southern hemisphere this autumn.

Burgess ended the NRL season with South Sydney Rabbitohs with a shoulder injury and Gold Coast Titans centre Kallum Watkins has a rib problem.

Leeds forward Ward suffered a hamstring injury in the last game of the Super League season against Warrington last month.

RFL rugby director, Kevin Sinfield, said: “It’s disappointing to lose players, and they are all gutted to be out of contention for the tour.

“The reaction we’ve had from all players is overwhelmingly positive about the return of GB, and that was the case for Kallum, Stevie and especially Sam, as he’s one of the few guys in contention to have played for Great Britain previously.

“But injuries happen, they test your strength in depth, and they provide opportunities to others. We’ll still have plenty of quality and experience in our squad when it’s announced next week.”

Great Britain will name a 24-man squad for the tour next Monday, with selection to be finalised after Saturday’s Super League Grand Final between St Helens and Salford.

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