Chris Hill and Mike McMeeken start as Shaun Wane picks his England team to face Samoa

Shaun Wane has named his England team to face Samoa in the first match of the Rugby League World Cup at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.

Among the starting 13 is veteran prop Chris Hill and Catalans Dragons second-rower Mike McMeeken, who fills in for the suspended John Bateman.

Captain Sam Tomkins is at full-back, with Jack Welsby and George Williams favoured in the halves.

NRL contingent Herbie Farnworth, Dom Young, Tom Burgess, Elliott Whitehead, and Victor Radley also make the starting line-up.

Wane has opted for size on the bench, with Mike Cooper, Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees and Luke Thompson.

Samoa have also named their 17 which is full of star players, including six players who featured in the NRL Grand Final between Penrith Panthers and Parramata Eels only a few weeks ago.

England team:

1. Sam Tomkins
2. Tommy Makinson
3. Kallum Watkins
4. Herbie Farnworth
14. Dom Young
6. Jack Welsby
7. George Williams
8. Tom Burgess
9. Michael McIlorum
18. Chris Hill
11. Elliott Whitehead
20. Mike McMeeken
13. Victor Radley

Interchanges:
17. Mike Cooper
15. Morgan Knowles
16. Matty Lees
10. Luke Thompson

Samoa team:

1. Joseph Suaalii
2. Brian To’o
3. Izack Tago
4. Stephen Crichton
18. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
6. Jarome Luai
7. Anthony Milford
8. Josh Papalii
9. Danny Levi
10. Junior Paulo
12. Jaydn Su’A
13. Josh Aloiai
22. Kelma Tuilagi

Interchanges:
14. Tyrone May
16. Spencer Leniu
17. Martin Taupau
20. Chanel Harris-Tavita

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