Ex-York City Knights star named in England squad for Fiji warm-up match

St Helens' Joe Batchelor celebrates his try against Huddersfield Giants at the Totally Wicked Stadium. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
St Helens' Joe Batchelor celebrates his try against Huddersfield Giants at the Totally Wicked Stadium. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

FORMER York City Knights star Joe Batchelor has been named in England's 22-player squad for Friday's warm-up match against Fiji (7.45pm).

England take on Fiji at Salford Red Devils' AJ Bell Stadium in their final outing before the World Cup, which kicks off next weekend.

Shaun Wane's side open the tournament at Newcastle's St James' Park against Samoa on Saturday, October 15 (2.30pm).

Batchelor is one of two St Helens players included in the squad, alongside club team-mate Jack Welsby, after the Merseyside club's fourth straight Grand Final success last month.

Batchelor made 54 appearances for York, scoring 41 tries, before moving to Saints in 2019. The back-rower was part of the Knights side which won 2018 Betfred League One title.

Wigan trio Liam Marshall, Sam Powell and Harry Smith have been drafted into the England squad alongside Huddersfield Giants' Jake Wardle to increase England's rotation options.

Dropping out of the 24-player World Cup squad are Sam Tomkins, John Bateson, Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees, Tommy Makinson and Mikolaj Oledski.

Elsewhere, York City Knights Ladies outside back Bettie Lambert has been picked in Ireland's 19-player squad for Saturday's European Championships clash with Wales at Dublin's Energia Park (3pm).