ST HELENS winger Tommy Makinson is one of three uncapped players to make England’s 19-man squad for the trip to Denver – as all three Burgess brothers are reunited at international level again.
Makinson has excelled for the runaway Super League leaders this season, and that form has not gone unnoticed in the eyes of England coach Wayne Bennett, who has handed the winger his first Test call-up.
Bennett’s squad also includes all three Burgess brothers, with George returning to the fray alongside Sam and twin brother Thomas, after having missed the cut for last year’s World Cup.
All three have caught the eye this season as the South Sydney Rabbitohs have forced their way into third place on the NRL ladder, with many Australian pundits putting their upsurge in form down to the three English brothers.
Makinson is in alongside fellow Super League wingers Jermaine McGillvary and Ryan Hall who, despite both failing to replicate the form that made them mainstays of Bennett’s side during last year’s World Cup, have retained their places in the 19-man squad for Denver.
The squad includes 13 Super League players and six from the NRL – but with the likes of Luke Gale, Kallum Watkins, Alex Walmsley and the recently-retired Kevin Brown all unavailable from the original Elite Performance Squad, there is the possibility of Bennett drafting players in from the England Knights setup.
Most notably in that Knights squad is Jake Connor, the Hull utility who has performed excellently for the Black and Whites this season following a number of serious injury problems for Lee Radford’s side, while many pundits, including League Express columnist Garry Schofield, believe that Makinson’s St Helens team-mate Danny Richardson should also be in the squad, given the absence of Castleford Tigers halfback Luke Gale.