McQueen and McMeeken set for England bows against Samoa

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Chris McQueen and Mike McMeeken are set to win their first England caps in the Pacific Test against Samoa on Saturday.

Australia-born Gold Coast Titans second row McQueen and Castleford Tigers forward McMeeken have been named in a 17-man squad for the clash at Campbelltown Stadium.

Castleford full-back Zak Hardaker will return to the international stage this weekend along with Cronulla Sharks forward Chris Heighington, who won his last cap six years ago.

Kevin Brown will partner Luke Gale in the halves after George Williams was ruled out due to a knee injury, while Sean O'Loughlin returns to captain this side after sitting out the Four Nations last year as a result of a hip injury.

"Samoa are a very good team - there's a lot of top NRL players in their squad," said England head coach Wayne Bennett.

"It's not going to be easy for us; we weren't looking for an easy game but we need to prove ourselves on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it and I'm sure they are too because I know they've got a hard game in front of them.

"It's been a really invaluable experience for all and essential to have all players here to prepare for what's to come at the end of the year. It's vital that the group spend time together and that I spend time with all the players during World Cup year. 

"Some tough decisions were made when picking this team but this eight-day camp has been fantastic - the commitment shown has been second to none."

 

England squad: Stefan Ratchford, Jermaine McGillvary, Kallum Watkins, Zak Hardaker, Ryan Hall, Kevin Brown, Luke Gale, Sam Burgess, Josh Hodgson, James Graham, Mike McMeeken, Elliott Whitehead, Sean O'Loughlin (captain), Chris Hill, Chris Heighington, Chris McQueen, Thomas Burgess.