England vs Samoa Team News: Predicting Shaun Wane’s 17 for Rugby League World Cup semi-final

Shaun Wane has named his 19-man squad for the Rugby League World Cup semi-final against Samoa at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.

But what 17 will he pick and how similar will it be to the 17 he named for the first game against Matt Parish’s side?

Fullback: Sam Tomkins
The skipper returned last week and added even more class and experience to the side who have been offensively ruthless in the tournament thus far. He will be up against a very different fullback in Joseph Suaali’i but Tomkins’ playmaking ability may be what unlocks the Samoa defence and takes centre stage rather than Suaa;i’i’s running game.

Wingers: Tommy Makinson & Dom Young
With Ryan Hall left out of the 19-man squad, Shaun Wane has all but confirmed that he will keep to his starting wingers from the quarter-final. Both great metre makers, both have been try scoring machines recently.

Centres: Kallum Watkins & Herbie Farnworth
Like the wingers, the centres have been excellent at metre making all season and have always offered a touch of class.

Halfbacks: Jack Welsby & George Williams
Based on last week, Marc Sneyd will not feature in this game as Wane sticks with Jack Welsby and George Williams in the halves going with the duo who started the 60-6 win against Samoa in game one.

Props: Tom Burgess & Chris Hill
Both have devastated teams this tournament and will look to get England off to a really strong start. Expect them to meet fire with fire against the big Samoan pack.

Hooker: Michael McIlorum
With Andy Ackers not selected in the 19-man squad, Michael McIlorum will start the game at nine and look to control the middle third. Expect Victor Radley to play some minutes in the role as he did last week.

Second-rowers: Elliot Whitehead & John Bateman
Former Canberra Raiders teammates will again feature in the backrow after their moment of magic helped England defeat France in the second game. Hard workers, both possess that bit of extra quality too.

Loose-forward: Victor Radley
He has played every game so far starting at 13 and will feature at 13 again and look to be the glue at the heart of the England performance.

Substitutes: Morgan Knowles, Luke Thompson, Mike Cooper & Mick McMeeken
With Matty Lees left out of the squad, Luke Thompson will likely return to the 17 on the bench where he shone against Samoa in game one. The rest of the bench will otherwise likely remain the same.

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