Graham in line for Captaincy
England coach Wayne Bennett has named his 24-man squad for the Four Nations series starting later this month.
Eight NRL players, including Bulldogs Skipper James Graham have been included, but the Brisbane Broncos mentor has omitted some established names as he looks to guide England to tournament success.
Incumbent skipper Sean O'Loughlin was the biggest omission. The 33-year old overcame a calf injury to play in Wigan's Super League grand final success on Saturday, but his return was too late to convince Bennett to select him.
With O'Loughlin missing from the squad with injury, Bennett will need to name a new captain and Bulldogs skipper James Graham is the favourite to take over.
Wigan fullback Sam Tomkins and Warrington’s Ben Currie will also miss the tournament due to injury.
St Helens hooker James Roby who has represented his country on 32 occasions , has also been left out with Canberra’s Josh Hodgson chosen as the first-choice No.9 following his outstanding season in the NRL.
Bennett has also selected four uncapped players – St Helens duo Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival, while Castleford half-back Luke Gale and Hull prop Scott Taylor are hoping to win their first caps after touring with the national side in last year’s International Series win.
England squad: John Bateman (Wigan Warriors); Kevin Brown (Widnes Vikings); George Burgess; Sam Burgess; Thomas Burgess (all South Sydney Rabbitohs); Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves); Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves/St George-Illwarra Dragons); Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors); Brett Ferres (Leeds Rhinos); Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers); James Graham (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs); Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos); Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves); Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders); Jonny Lomax (St Helens); Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants); Mark Percival (St Helens); Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves); Dan Sarginson (Wigan Warriors/Gold Coast Titans); Scott Taylor (Hull FC); Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos); Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders); Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons); George Williams (Wigan Warriors)