Currie to replace injured Burgess for England v Lebanon


Ben Currie has been given the nod to replace Sam Burgess in the England line-up when they take on Lebanon in their second Rugby League World Cup match on Saturday.

In the only change to Wayne Bennett's XIII from the opening 18-4 loss to Group A rivals Australia, Currie takes Burgess' spot in the second row after the South Sydney Rabbitohs forward sustained a medial knee ligament injury that is expected to sideline him until the quarter-finals.

The 23-year-old made his England debut against the Kangaroos at AAMI Park despite being a late call up after Alex Walmsley withdrew due to illness.

"We were unfortunate to lose Sam early in the game against Australia but received some good news and we can now possibly get him back sooner than anticipated," said Bennett.

"Apart from Sam, everyone is fit, healthy and good to go against Lebanon. Friday's result was disappointing but the players have shown they wanted to get straight back into it and we had a great day in hot temperatures on Monday.

"Alex was in the matchday squad last week and he was unlucky not to make the field. He's feeling good again and I want to see what he can offer against Lebanon."

England will be keen to pick up their first win of the competition against Lebanon in Sydney, but Brad Fittler's side will be on a high after defeating France 29-18 in their first outing of the campaign.

Bennett said of their next opponents: "They've got NRL players in their squad and we know Brad will be getting the best out of them. They have got quality and we're going to have to be good."