Widdop in as Chase dropped from England team

Gareth Widdop has been called up to the England team in place of Rangi Chase for the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand at Wembley.

Widdop, who has sat out England‘s last two games, is now in line to take the number six shirt on Saturday, the first time coach Steve McNamara has ventured away from Chase’s partnership with Kevin Sinfield at half-back.

Another change sees Leeds back-rower or centre Carl Ablett come in for Wigan hooker Michael McIlorum.

McNamara said: “As with every week, the squad is picked with not only the opposition in mind but the best combinations for ourselves.

“We have had a great week with our preparation and the players are ready to take on the world champions in what I believe is the biggest game we have been involved in since the Rugby League World Cup semi-final back in 2008.

“The players are well aware of the importance of the game and the improvements we have to make from our previous matches to give ourselves every chance of beating New Zealand

“We will have to be at our best to win, but we’ll relish the pressure of playing against a quality team on one of the biggest stages in world sport.”

The 19-man squad in full:

Carl Ablett (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Parkside)

George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)

Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)

Rob Burrow (Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions)

Josh Charnley (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield Giants, Newsome Panthers)

Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

Brett Ferres (Huddersfield Giants, Smawthorne Panthers)

James Graham (Canterbury Bulldog, Blackbrook)

Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)

Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves, New Spring Lions)

Lee Mossop (Wigan Warriors, Hensingham)

Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

James Roby (St Helens, Blackbrook)

Kevin Sinfield (captain) (Leeds Rhinos, Waterhead)

Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos, Latchford Albion)

Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves, Normanton Knights)

Gareth Widdop (Melbourne Storm, Kings Cross)

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