Hull KR man drops out of England squad before France international

HULL KR hooker Jez Litten will play no part in England’s international against France on Saturday after being left out of their 19-man squad.

Litten, who earned his first and only cap to date in the equivalent mid-season tie between the nations last year, was named in England’s training group of 20 at the beginning of the week.

But he is not included in the matchday squad for the clash in Toulouse due to illness.

There are six potential debutants in the 19-man selection, including Litten’s club team-mate Elliot Minchella.

Castleford Tigers centre Sam Wood, hooker Brad O’Neill of Wigan Warriors and forward Oliver Wilson, from Huddersfield Giants, George Delaney, of St Helens, and James McDonnell, from Leeds Rhinos, also remain involved.

Head coach Shaun Wane will not travel with the team to France, remaining in hospital following an operation earlier this week. Assistant Andy Last will lead England in his absence.

“He’s on the road to recovery now so he’s looking forward to watching us from his hospital bed, and hopefully we put in a strong performance for him to be proud of,” said Last.

England 19-man squad: Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), George Delaney (St Helens), Tyler Dupree (Wigan Warriors), Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos), James Harrison (Warrington Wolves), Tom Johnstone (Catalans Dragons), Matty Lees (St Helens), Mikey Lewis (Hull KR), James McDonnell (Leeds Rhinos), Elliot Minchella (Hull KR), Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos), Matty Nicholson (Warrington Wolves), Brad O’Neill, Harry Smith, Luke Thompson (all Wigan Warriors), Jack Welsby (St Helens), George Williams (Warrington Wolves), Oliver Wilson (Huddersfield Giants), Sam Wood (Castleford Tigers).

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