Slammin’ Sam to miss England duty

Sam Burgess will be unavailable for Wayne Bennett’s first game in charge of England.

Burgess has been suspended for one match after being charged with tripping in South Sydney Rabbitohs’ NRL victory over Canterbury last week.

He will miss the Four Nations warm-up clash with France on October 22nd in Avignon, but will be free to play in the Four Nations games against Australia, New Zealand and Scotland.

The 27-year-old has not played for England’s Rugby League side for almost three years, having last featured in the 2013 World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand.

His duties at Souths have now finished for the season, as they failed to make the NRL finals, but he is almost a certainty for Bennett’s upcoming England squad in the final tournament before the World Cup.

He is now expected to make his England return against the Kiwis on October 29 at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium.