England have revealed the 24-man squad that will travel down under for the Rugby League World Cup, which kicks off on 27th October.
The squad is made up of players from 12 different teams across Super League and the NRL, with 17 of the squad members playing their rugby in Super League and 7 in the NRL.
Castleford, Huddersfield, Hull FC, Leeds, St. Helens, Warrington and Wigan are the English sides represented, while Canberra Raiders, Cronulla Sharks, South Sydney Rabbitohs and St. George Illawarra are the Australian sides with players to be chosen by Wayne Bennett.
The 24-man squad in full is:
John Bateman (Wigan Warriors)
Kevin Brown (Warrington Wolves)
Sam Burgess (South Sydney)
Tom Burgess (South Sydney)
Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves)
Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers)
James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs)
Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos)
Chris Heighington (Cronulla Sharks)
Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves)
Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders)
Jonny Lomax (St. Helens)
Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants)
Mike McMeeken (Castleford Tigers)
Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors)
Mark Percival (St. Helens)
Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves)
James Roby (St. Helens)
Scott Taylor (Hull F.C)
Alex Walmsley (St. Helens)
Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos)
Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders)
Gareth Widdop (St. George Illawarra)
George Williams (Wigan Warriors)
Ben Currie and Alex Walmsley are the only uncapped players to be named in the squad.
31-year old hooker James Roby returns to the international set-up for the first time since the three-game series against New Zealand in 2015, and will feature in his third World Cup.
Notable absentees include Super League’s top try-scorer in 2017 Greg Eden, Wigan’s experienced fullback Sam Tomkins, Leeds’ Stevie Ward and Hull FC’s Jamie Shaul.
Talking about his squad selection, coach Wayne Bennett said: “Selecting the final 24 with the help of my coaching staff was tough and that was down to the effort and performances of many players throughout the season.
“The competitiveness of Super League and NRL and knowing the goal of playing for your country in a World Cup has made many raise their game and become better athletes.
“The England programme has been very active leading into this tournament and having the squad meet up on regular occasions – on and off the field – has put us in a positive place before everyone gets into camp.
“We had to put the disappointment of the Four Nations behind us quickly and the meetings that followed that tournament set out what was required to be successful in the World Cup. Everyone has fully bought into this and we can’t wait to get started.”
England take on Affiliated States in a warm-up game in Perth on October 20th before taking part in the tournament’s opening game against Australia a week later. They then play Lebanon in Sydney on 4th November ahead of a return to Perth on the 12th November for the clash with France to complete their group stage fixtures.