Graham returns to squad for Australia game
Wayne Bennett has included experienced forward James Graham in his 19-man squad to face Australia in the final group game of the Ladbrokes Four Nations at the London Stadium on Sunday, November 13.
Graham, who missed the victory over Scotland due to a minor knee injury, is one of three changes to last week’s squad. Kevin Brown and Gareth Widdop also make a return.
Brown last featured for England against France in the 40-6 win in Avignon, a game in which he scored a try and provided the kick through to set Widdop up to touch down over the line. Widdop played in the first game of the Four Nations against New Zealand scoring eight points from the boot.
St Helens centre Mark Percival retains his place in squad as does Wigan half-back George Williams who was voted man of the match against Scotland for his performance and assisting with three tries on the night.
In only the second-ever game of Rugby League to take place at the London Stadium, England will meet Australia for the first time on home soil since the opening game of the 2013 World Cup in Cardiff.
“I know how much ability this team has got and I want them to play to that ability on Sunday – that’s the best chance we’ve got,” said Bennett.
“We all know what we’ve got to do and that we’ve got to win the game. We won’t be thinking about points difference or anything else, that’s not going to help anybody.
“I just want the boys to get back to the way we played against New Zealand in the first game of the tournament. There’s been a lot of improvements this week – the attitude is there and everyone’s working hard.
“Australia are the best team in the competition right now and it’s a challenge we’re all looking forward to in front of what will be vocal crowd at London Stadium on Sunday afternoon.”
On James Graham’s return to the squad, Bennett commented: “He’s back in training with the squad and he’s ready to go. It’s important to have someone like James back in the team. He brings a lot. He’ll be good for us.”
ENGLAND 19-MAN SQUAD (PROFESSIONAL CLUB AND COMMUNITY CLUB IN BRACKETS):
John Bateman (Wigan Warriors, Bradford Dudley Hill)
Kevin Brown (Widnes Vikings, Thatto Heath Crusaders)
George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)
Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)
Thomas Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)
Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves, Fryston Warriors)
Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves/St George-Illwarra Dragons, Latchford Albion)
Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers, Middleton Marauders)
James Graham (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Blackbrook)
Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves, New Spring Lions)
Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders, East Hull)
Jonny Lomax (St Helens, Orrell St James)
Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants, Deighton Juniors)
Mark Percival (St Helens, Halton Farnworth Hornets)
Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos, Latchford Albion)
Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders, West Bowling)
Gareth Widdop (St George-Illawarra Dragons, Kings Cross)
George Williams (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)