14th November 2017, 08:12 | 

Burgess back for quarter-final clash

Burgess back for quarter-final clash

England face Papua New Guinea in Melbourne this Sunday


England forward Sam Burgess has recovered from a knee injury and included in Wayne Bennett’s 21-man squad to face Papua New Guinea in the Rugby League World Cup quarter-final at AAMI Park, Melbourne on Sunday, November 19 (4.00pm AEDT). 

Burgess, who picked up the injury during the opening game of the tournament against Australia, has spent the last few weeks working with England staff on a recovery programme that would make him available to play during the knock-out stages of the World Cup.

Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall, Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead all return to the squad after being rested for the France game last week.

Man of the match against France, Gareth Widdop remains in the full-back position and Kevin Brown retains his place at stand-off alongside Luke Gale. Jonny Lomax is recovering from a calf strain.

Papua New Guinea topped Pool C after winning all of their games in Port Moresby against Wales, Ireland and USA.

England’s last encounter against The Kumuls was back in 2010 during a Four Nations game at Eden Park, Auckland. England ran out 36-10 winners and current squad members Ryan Hall, Kevin Brown, James Graham, James Roby, Sam Burgess, Sean O’Loughlin and Gareth Widdop featured.

England Head Coach, Wayne Bennett, said: “We’ve just had a good week in Perth and I was glad to get the win against France. The players are aware of what needs fixing up from that game.

“We were very clinical in the first half but need to be more disciplined to make it more than that and turn it into an 80-minute display.

“We’re back in Melbourne in familiar surroundings and have big few days ahead of us in terms of preparation. Papua New Guinea have shown they can play and have got some quality in their side.”

England 21-man squad to face Papua New Guinea:

  1. Gareth Widdop
  2. Jermaine McGillvary
  3. Kallum Watkins
  4. John Bateman
  5. Ryan Hall
  6. Kevin Brown
  7. Luke Gale
  8. Chris Hill
  9. Josh Hodgson
  10. James Graham
  11. Sam Burgess
  12. Elliott Whitehead
  13. Sean O’Loughlin ©
  14. Alex Walmsley
  15. Thomas Burgess
  16. Ben Currie
  17. James Roby
  18. Chris Heighington
  19. Mark Percival
  20. Stefan Ratchford
  21. George Williams