Uncapped Super League trio called up to England squad

Jake Connor, Tommy Makinson and Luke Thompson have been called up to the England squad for the mid-season Test in Denver.

The trio are part of a 19-man squad that will take on New Zealand in the States on June 23rd.

All three players have been standout stars this year, with Connor playing a lead role for Hull FC, while Makinson and Thompson have played key roles in Saints’ excellent start to the season.

Six NRL players, James Graham, Elliot Whitehead and Gareth Widdop, along with the three Burgess brothers Sam, Tom and George, are also in the squad.

There is no place in the squad for Warrington duo Josh Charnley and Daryl Clark, with James Roby the only recognised hooker named. Jermaine McGillvary and Ryan Hall have retained their places.

“I have selected a strong squad that I believe has the ability and talent to beat New Zealand in Denver,” said head coach Wayne Bennett.

“The game is going to be a tough one but we will go into it with confidence.

“We have been impressed with all the players this season and the three uncapped players deserve their call-ups after showing their talent and determination both on and off the field. We have always been clear that the door to the senior squad is open to any player showing the form to be selected. The squad has a real mix of experience and youth and that will prove important during our time in Denver.

“Playing a mid-season test against Samoa last year proved invaluable and I’m sure this will be the same. It gives the team a chance to spend time together and me and my coaching staff to see how they perform together against one of the best teams in the World ahead of the International Test Series in the Autumn.”

St Helens are the best-represented side in the squad, with five of their players involved, while Wigan have three of their squad included. Warrington has two players, Chris Hill and Stefan Ratchford, included, with Hull FC, Leeds and Huddersfield having one apiece. None of Castleford’s squad has been included.

England squad to face New Zealand: John Bateman, George Burgess, Sam Burgess, Thomas Burgess, Jake Connor, James Graham, Ryan Hall, Chris Hill, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Jermaine McGillvary, Sean O’Loughlin, Mark Percival, Stefan Ratchford, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Gareth Widdop, George Williams, Elliott Whitehead.