McQueen among uncapped trio in England squad

Wayne Bennett will cast an eye over some new faces in the England set-up when they face Samoa in his homeland.

Uncapped trio Chris McQueen, Mike McMeeken and Alex Walmsley have been included in the England squad to face Samoa next month, while Zak Hardaker and Chris Heighington earned recalls.

Australia-born Gold Coast Titans second row McQueen, who has an English father, is in line to make his international bow at Campbelltown Stadium in New South Wales on May 6.

Forward Mike McMeeken is rewarded for playing his part in Castleford Tigers' rise to the top of the Super League table, while St Helens prop Walmsley has also been named in a 20-man squad.

Wayne Bennett has included full-back Hardaker, who has been given a new lease of life at Castleford, and experienced Cronulla Sharks forward Heighington is in line to win his first cap since 2011.

Bennett said: "This is a strong squad that I believe has the talent to do well. The game against Samoa will be tough - they have some good players and plenty of spirit but this gives everyone in our squad the opportunity to show what they can do ahead of the World Cup.

"I'm very pleased that we have this chance to play mid-season. It gives the team a chance to work and spend time together and allows my coaching team and I the opportunity to take a closer look at how the players can rise to the challenge of playing against a tough and uncompromising opponent.

"There are some quality players left behind in England who have either just missed out or been ruled out through injury and this game enables me to look at some of those who haven't been in the squad before."

 

England squad:  Sam Burgess, Tom Burgess, Luke Gale, James Graham, Ryan Hall, Zak Hardaker, Chris Heighington, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, Jermaine McGillvary, Mike McMeeken, Chris McQueen, Sean O'Loughlin (captain), Mark Percival, Scott Taylor, Alex Walmsley, Kallum Watkins, Elliott Whitehead, Gareth Widdop, George Williams.

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