England team to face PNG in World Cup quarter-final

Sam Burgess returns to England’s team for Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final in Melbourne.

Burgess has been absent with injury since the opening game of the tournament against Australia, but has been named in the second-row for the game at AAMI Park.

From the team that defeated France, Kallum Watkins, Josh Hodgson and Elliot Whitehead return, while Gareth Widdop keep his place at full-back, as does Kevin Brown in the halves.

Head Coach, Wayne Bennett, said: “We’ve just had a good week in Perth and I was glad to get the win against France. The players are aware of what needs fixing up from that game.

“We were very clinical in the first half but need to be more disciplined to make it more than that and turn it into an 80-minute display.

“We’re back in Melbourne in familiar surroundings and have big few days ahead of us in terms of preparation. Papua New Guinea have shown they can play and have got some quality in their side.”

England 21-man squad to face Papua New Guinea:

Gareth Widdop

Jermaine McGillvary

Kallum Watkins

John Bateman

Ryan Hall

Kevin Brown

Luke Gale

Chris Hill

Josh Hodgson

James Graham

Sam Burgess

Elliott Whitehead

Sean O’Loughlin ©

Interchange:

Alex Walmsley

Thomas Burgess

Ben Currie

James Roby

Reserves:

Chris Heighington

Mark Percival

Stefan Ratchford

George Williams