Bennett explains inclusion of Heighington and McQueen in England squad

England coach Wayne Bennett has insisted controversial call-ups Chris Heighington and Chris McQueen are deserving of being in his squad for the Test against Samoa – adding he’s excited to see what they can bring to the group.

Cronulla forward Heighington and Gold Coast counterpart McQueen are undoubtedly the standout picks in Bennett’s 20-man contingent for the game in Sydney on Saturday.

They both qualify via English-born parents – but Bennett insists the duo are worthy of being in his squad. Bennett, however, insisted opportunities to players playing in Super League has left the door ajar for them to make their mark.

He said: “We’ve got some injuries back in England to two or three players which are key players and this is an opportunity for these two guys.

“They’re certainly in the category of being in the top 20 players here and both are in really good form in the NRL, so let’s see what they bring. They’ll have no problem gelling with the team, there’s a team of good blokes here.”