Bennett clarifies position on ‘Aussie’ England players

England RL Aussie players

England head coach Wayne Bennett has revealed he will not call-up anymore Australian-born players for the World Cup.

Chris Heighington and Chris McQueen were selected for the recent Pacific Test against Samoa, a decision which did not impress many England supporters.

With the likes of Liam Farrell and Joe Westerman overlooked for the Australian-born forwards, fans have become concerned that Bennett may also look to the likes of Blake Austin and Trent Hodkinson.

However, while in Auckland this weekend to announce a mid-season clash against the Kiwis from 2018, the veteran Australian coach revealed he would not be calling up anymore overseas-born players for the World Cup.

“There’s no more that’s going to jump out of the ground,” Bennett said.

“Chris (Heighington) had been there before and he was great in the team. They accepted him. It wasn’t a problem, it was the same with Chris McQueen.

“They are like all of you over here, they want the best World Cup and they want to be with the best players. These guys are the best players and they’re eligible and meet the criteria.”

England kick-off the World Cup on Friday 27 October when they take on defending champions Australia at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

Prior to that there will be a 10-day training camp in Perth, this will include a fixture against an Affiliated States Championship side, a competition consisting of players from Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia.