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McNamara names his elite men

Hock returns to international fold; Knights squad also announced

Last Updated: 06/03/12 5:04pm

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Catalans Dragons hooker Ian Henderson is the surprise inclusion in England coach Steve McNamara's elite training squad.

Henderson - who spent a spell with Bradford earlier in his career before joining the Dragons last year - was born in Torquay but raised in Australia, while he played for Scotland at the last World Cup.

"Our aim now is to retain the current crop of players and realise our ambition of winning the Rugby League World Cup in 2013."
Steve McNamara Quotes of the week

McNamara has also named Gareth Hock in the 32-man party, the Wigan forward being selected for the first time since serving a two-year drugs ban.

The second rower last appeared for his country back in June 2009, helping England defeat France 66-12 in Paris.

Hock is joined by team-mates Josh Charnley and Lee Mossop for the two mid-season fixtures against the Exiles, a team made up of the leading overseas talent currently plying their trade in the Stobart Super League.

McNamara has also announced a 24-man England Knights squad, who will play Ireland on Saturday, June 16, as a curtain-raiser to the first Exiles clash. They will also then feature in the end-of-season Alitalia European Cup, alongside Scotland, Ireland and 2013 World Cup qualifiers Italy.

There are no Australian-based players included in either list by the former Bradford boss due to their club commitments with their NRL employers.

Exciting squads

"We have two very exciting squads that can build on last year's efforts on reaching the Gillette Four Nations final," said McNamara.

"In addition, I am monitoring on a weekly basis our eight Australian-based players, who will play a pivotal role in our plans.

"Our aim now is to retain the current crop of players and realise our ambition of winning the Rugby League World Cup in 2013."

England will take on the Exiles in a stand-alone game on Saturday, June 16, with players not required to back-up immediately for their Super League clubs, followed by a second game on Wednesday, July 4.

McNamara's troops will also be in action at the end of the season, playing against Wales and France in a triangular tournament.

The event, which will culminate in a final on the weekend of November 10, replaces the Four Nations Series involving Australia and New Zealand, which has gone into cold storage until after the 2013 World Cup.

England's squad will gather together for three training camps in the build-up to the first Exiles game and then will go on a high-altitude training camp from October 10-20 to prepare for end-of-year matches.

England elite training squad: Carl Ablett (Leeds), Ryan Bailey (Leeds), Chris Bridge (Warrington), Tom Briscoe (Hull), Danny Brough (Huddersfield), Rob Burrow (Leeds), Garreth Carvell (Warrington), Josh Charnley (Wigan), Rangi Chase (Castleford), Eorl Crabtree (Huddersfield), Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield), Ryan Hall (Leeds), Zak Hardaker (Leeds), Ian Henderson (Catalan Dragons), Gareth Hock (Wigan), Ben Jones-Bishop (Leeds) Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds), Jonny Lomax (St Helens), Danny McGuire (Leeds), Michael McIlorum (Wigan), Adrian Morley (Warrington), Lee Mossop (Wigan), Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan), Jamie Peacock (Leeds, captain), James Roby (St Helens), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds), Sam Tomkins (Wigan), Kallum Watkins (Leeds), Kris Welham (Hull KR), Ben Westwood (Warrington), Jon Wilkin (St Helens), Kirk Yeaman (Hull).

England Knights: Joe Arundel (Castleford), Jodie Broughton (Salford), Chris Clarkson (Leeds), Paul Clough (St Helens), Mike Cooper (Warrington), Rhys Evans (Warrington), Liam Farrell (Wigan), Dale Ferguson (Huddersfield), Mark Flanagan (St Helens), Lee Gaskell (St Helens), Josh Hodgson (Hull KR), Danny Houghton (Hull), Shaun Lunt (Huddersfield), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield), Richie Myler (Warrington), Larne Patrick (Huddersfield), Stefan Ratchford (Warrington), Chris Riley (Warrington), Matty Smith (Salford), Scott Taylor (Hull KR), Liam Watts (Hull KR), Joe Wardle (Huddersfield), Gary Wheeler (St Helens), Elliot Whitehead (Bradford).

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