All week on TotalRL.com’s world famous forum, we’ve been asking our readers for their opinion on how England should line up in this year’s Four Nations tournament. After all, the event is only a couple of months away now, and speculation is starting to build over the men who should be on the plane.
To that end, we comprised all the runners and riders for each major position and asked our readers to pick their favourite for each slot. You polled quite heavily, with some feverish debate taking place over a number of positions. But ultimately, there could only be 17 men that made the cut – so here is YOUR England team, as picked by you, the readers of TotalRL.com!
Note: As the poll could only let you pick the top player from each position, the bench will be made up of the second highest polling hooker/half-back, two props and one back-rower.
Full-back – Sam Tomkins (62.50%)
A straight race between Sam Tomkins and Zak Hardaker for the full-back slot, but the NRL man won out against his Super League rival, scoring almost two-thirds of the votes cast for the full-back slot. The question is, has his form during his first season with New Zealand Warriors been enough to get him the nod from Steve McNamara when he names his squad?
Right wing – Josh Charnley (18.75%)
Charnley has been far from his imperious best in 2014, but he has still got a healthy 16 tries for Wigan as they go on the hunt to retain their Super League title. Tommy Makinson certainly polled a fair few votes, but with Charnley getting almost a fifth of all votes cast for two wing spots, he gets the nod here.
Right centre – Michael Shenton (30%)
Shenton would certainly be a popular choice if picked by Steve McNamara for the Four Nations, and TotalRL.com readers have decided to opt for the Castleford Tigers captain in their team!
Left centre – Kallum Watkins (38.75%)
A rather obvious duo of selections coming up, the first of which is Leeds’ Kallum Watkins. The centre has yet again proven himself to be one of the world’s best three-quarters in 2014, producing some marvellous displays for Leeds alongside his partner in crime..
Left wing – Ryan Hall (50%)
There was little doubt that Ryan Hall would be included by our readers, and he picked up exactly half of all the votes cast when we asked you to name your two wingers for the England side.
Stand-off – Gareth Widdop (46.25%)
Widdop was underused by Steve McNamara in some people’s minds at last year’s World Cup – but he gets the nod to start at half-back in the England team selected by you. Will the England boss agree?
Scrum-half – Matty Smith (16.25%)
Wigan’s Matty Smith has perhaps been the most consistent half-back in Super League this year, and TotalRL.com readers seem to agree – placing him alongside Widdop in the halves for this England side.
Prop – James Graham (43.04%)
Both props come from the NRL, with the fiery James Graham the first man to line up in the forwards. Graham has once again been superb for Canterbury in 2014, and he’s a certainty to make the Four Nations squad come the end of the season.
Hooker – James Roby (57.50%)
For what seems like the first time in a long while, James Roby has some healthy competition at hooker – with Castleford’s Daryl Clark breathing down his neck. However, TotalRL.com readers have stuck with Roby, gaining well over half of the votes to start alongside Graham.
Prop – George Burgess (27.85%)
There’s no Sam for this year’s Four Nations, but brother George has been picked by our readers to start in the fan-chosen England side for the Four Nations. And with Souths flying high at the top of the NRL, there’s no surprise he’s included.
Second-row – Ben Westwood (21.75%)
Perhaps a surprise to some, but Warrington’s Ben Westwood gets the nod in the back-row over the likes of emerging talent such as Elliott Whitehead and John Bateman.
Second-row – Brett Ferres (28.75%)
There’s plenty of competition in the forwards, but Huddersfield’s Brett Ferres has cemented his position as perhaps England’s best back-rower at this moment in time – and nearly a third of you opted to include him in your England side.
Loose-forward – Sean O’Loughlin (77.50%)
By far the most popular inclusion came at the bottom of the team sheet. No. 13 doesn’t belong to Kevin Sinfield – it’s Wigan’s Sean O’Loughlin who gets the nod with over three quarters of the votes cast! Is that how it will happen in reality later this year?
Interchange: Daryl Clark, John Bateman, Chris Hill and Thomas Burgess.