Burgess back as Bennett makes five changes


Sam Burgess is set to make his first rugby league appearance for England since 2013 after he was named in a 19-man squad for Saturday's Four Nations clash with New Zealand in Huddersfield.

Burgess, who opted to return to the 13-man format last November after a short spell in rugby union, is in line to captain his country in their opening game of the tournament after sitting out the win over France last weekend due to suspension.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs forward is one of five players recalled to the squad by head coach Wayne Bennett, with Dan Sarginson, Chris Hill, John Bateman and George Williams also included.

James Graham has been passed fit after taking a blow to the head in the 40-6 rout of France.

Bennett said: "I was pleased with the way the players conducted themselves last week in France and the hard work they put in.

"There's things we've looked at in the game and worked on this week. The boys know the pressure and the intensity will rise as we get closer to Saturday - it's a challenge we're all looking forward to.

"We've got a strong squad here who are ready to go and desperate to play to show us what they can do which is good to see.

"Sam's also back from suspension and ready to pull on the England Rugby League shirt. It's been a few years since he played over here and I'm sure the sell-out crowd at Huddersfield will be keen to see him out there."

England squad: 

John Bateman, George Burgess, Sam Burgess, Tom Burgess, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Liam Farrell, Luke Gale, James Graham, Ryan Hall, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, Jonny Lomax, Jermaine McGillvary, Dan Sarginson, Kallum Watkins, Elliott Whitehead, Gareth Widdop, George Williams.