21st April 2017, 09:47 | englandrl

England's options in the halves

England's options in the halves

With the squad for the upcoming Samoa test being announced on Moday (24th April) we take a look at the options in halves...

George Williams

Arguably Super League’s stand-out player so far in 2017, George Williams has been a leading light in Wigan’s bright start to the campaign.

The stand-off currently leads the way in the assists charts in Super League, making 13 tries in 10 games, including eight in the first six league games this year.

With his fantastic form, speculation began to grow over a move to the NRL, which looked to have affected the 22-year-old’s on-field performances.

However, he recently tied up a new long-term deal with the Warriors and was back looking dangerous over the Easter Weekend, with a further five try assists over the two games.

His key asset is his dangerous kicking game but lightning-quick footwork has also left defences frozen in 2017.

Gareth Widdop

Another half with a tricky kicking game is St George Illawara Dragons’ Gareth Widdop.

The five-eighth is top points scorer in the NRL so far in 2017, with 85pts to his name. He’s scored six tries and kicked 30 goals for the Dragons this year.

The Halifax-born man is in a good position to add to his 21 England appearances in the mid-season Pacific Test against Samoa.

Luke Gale

Luke Gale has been another of Super League’s live-wires at the start of the 2017 season, with nine tries and 10 try assists so far this campaign.

The Castleford Tigers man scored a hat-trick against Huddersfield Giants at the end of March and bagged three assists in their victories over both Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity.

His stand-out moment of the season was probably his brilliant outside-of-the boot kick to the corner and Greg Minkin, as the winger completed his hat-trick in the corner.

Kevin Brown

Warrington stand-off Kevin Brown has had a stop-start beginning to 2017 after injury has interrupted his first season at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The former Widnes man, who was part of England’s Four Nations squad last autumn, was Warrington’s stand-out man in their fantastic win over Brisbane Broncos in the Dacia World Club Series.

However, he has struggled for form since then and has been on concussion rest for much of April, which has hindered his chances of making Wayne Bennett’s squad.

Matty Smith

Injury has also interrupted Matty Smith’s start to 2017, after the scrum-half broke his leg in pre-season.

After moving from Wigan Warriors in the close season, Smith made his return for hometown club St Helens with a fantastic performance over Warrington Wolves at the end of March.

However he’s struggled to live up to that come-back performance in Saints’ more recent Super League games.

England take on Samoa on May 6 at the Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney and fans can watch the game via an exclusive live stream for the early bird price of just £3.49 - sign up here.