Rugby League World Cup: England ready for Australia opener
Last Updated: 26/10/13 2:11pm
Tom Burgess: One of three brothers included in 19-man squad
England will be out to provide the perfect response to a tumultuous week when they take on Australia in the World Cup opener at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Steve McNamara's side have had far from the ideal build up to the tournament having lost their warm-up match against Italy last weekend.
The disruption continued during the week as Gareth Hock was omitted from the squad after reportedly failing to turn up for a training camp.
James Graham has now been left out of the 19-man squad for the clash with the Kangaroos amid speculation he was one of a number of players to defy a ban on alcohol.
McNamara refused to address any of the reports when he walked out of a press conference on the eve of the tournament, and a heavy defeat on Saturday will only serve to increase the pressure on the coach.
He has named the three Burgess brothers in his 19-man squad while Brett Ferres, who was drafted in as a replacement for Hock on Tuesday, is also included.
Uncapped second rower Liam Farrell makes the 19 but his Wigan team-mate Sean O'Loughlin has been ruled out after he failed to recover from injury.
Australia have included Brent Tate in the centres as he has edged out Michael Jennings for the starting spot in place of the injured Justin Hodges.
Robbie Farah is named on the bench with Sheens having a definite game plan for using the Wests Tigers hooker to target the big England forwards later in the game, with Cameron Smith then likely switching to loose forward.
England squad: Ablett, G Burgess, S Burgess, T Burgess, Burrow, Charnley, Chase, Cudjoe, Farrell, Ferres, Hall, Hill, Mossop, Roby, Sinfield (capt), Tomkins, Watkins, Westwood, Widdop.
Australia: Slater, Morris, Tate, Inglis, Boyd, Thurston, Cronk, Scott, Smith (capt), Tamou, Bird, Thaiday, Gallen.
Interchange: (from) Robbie Farah, Andrew Fifita, Luke Lewis, Corey Parker, Jarryd Hayne, Nate Myles.
2013 Rugby League World Cup
This years' Rugby League World Cup has been hailed as the greatest of all time by the organisers. Australia claimed their 10th title by beating New Zealand in the final in front of a record attendance.
RFL chief executive Nigel Wood is confident the sport will capitalise on the success of hosting the World Cup.
We take a look back at the highs and occasional low from probably the best World Cup to date.
- Hetherington wants more cups
- Wallace commits to Scotland
- Widdop left gutted by defeat
- Tomkins devastated by defeat
- Burgess defends brother George
- Johnson expresses relief
- Kangaroos leap into final
- Sheens tribute to Civoniceva
- Australia v Fiji: Teams
- Burgess out to deny Williams
- Aussies wary of physical Fiji
- Foran highlights main threats
- Two video refs for World Cup
- Civoniceva gets Wembley buzz
- Fiji too strong for Samoa
- England disappoint McNamara
- England stroll into semis
- Sheens retains Slater hope
- Australia put USA to the sword
- Samoa v Fiji: Teams
- Williams injury played down
- Kiwis stroll into semis
- Sheens: Slater has learned
- Brough set for toughest test
- Scots ready for biggest task
- Kiwis wary of Henderson
- Farah dropped for US clash