Bennett omits Wigan duo for England opener

By Peter Thompson 28 October 2016
Bennett omits Wigan duo for England opener

England head coach Wayne Bennett has confirmed that Wigan Warriors duo Liam Farrell and George Williams will miss out on Saturday's Four Nations clash with New Zealand.

Farrell and Williams were named in a 19-man squad to face the defending champions in Huddersfield, but have not made the final cut.

Bennett sticks with the half-back pairing of Gareth Widdop and Luke Gale to take on the Kiwis after they combined effectively in a resounding defeat of France last weekend.

Australian Bennett said on the eve of the game: "I've only named a 19 because that's the rules here, I've already settled on a 17.

"George Williams will be out, as will Liam Farrell. I think George is a very talented player; it was pretty close but we're going this way at the moment, so it's up to the boys to perform now."

Bennett is optimistic that the hosts can hit the ground running against the Kiwis.

"It's important to play well first and foremost," Bennett said.

"They've got a big forward pack, they're very mobile and they've some quality players. We'll have to stop them there and we give ourselves a chance if we can do that.

"The boys are buzzing. Everyone can't wait for the weekend, there's a real good vibe about them. We know we've got a really good chance, especially with this bunch of blokes we've got at the moment."


England team: Jonny Lomax, Jermaine McGillvary, Kallum Watkins, Dan Sarginson, Ryan Hall, Gareth Widdop, Luke Gale, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, James Graham, Elliott Whitehead, John Bateman, Sam Burgess.

Replacements: Daryl Clark, George Burgess, Tom Burgess, Mike Cooper.

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Peter Thompson