Shaun Wane names his England captain for the World Cup warm-up game against Fiji

George Williams will captain England in Friday’s World Cup warm-up game against Fiji at Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium.

The Warrington halfback will deputise in the role with official captain Sam Tomkins not chosen for the game as a precaution after recent injury problems.

England boss Shaun Wane gave Williams his Wigan debut when he was the Warriors head coach back in 2013.

After a stint in the NRL with Canberra Raiders, Williams returned to Super League in 2021 where he turned down a return to Wigan in favour of joining Warrington Wolves.

The 27-year-old has had a tough season at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, with the Wolves eventually finishing 11th after they were tipped to challenge for silverware prior to the campaign.

Speaking after he was named captain, Williams said: “It’s an unreal feeling. I think it will be the pinnacle of my career to captain my country. It’s something that I’ll cherish and I’m really looking forward to leading this great group out.”

Friday’s game against Fiji will be England’s last before their opening game of the Rugby League World Cup against Samoa on Saturday week.

Despite his absence from this game, it is expected that Tomkins will return to captain the team in the opener at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.

He is one of six players named in the initial 24-man squad not to feature this Friday, with a number of players involved in the Super League Grand Final just last week to take some extra time to rest.

Because of this, Sam Powell, Liam Marshall, Jake Wardle and Harry Smith will come in to make up a 22-man squad for the game in Salford.

The squad in full to face Fiji is as follows: Ackers, Batchelor, Burgess, Cooper, Farnworth, Hall, Hill, Marshall, McIlorum, McMeeken, Pearce-Paul, Powell, Radley, Smith, Sneyd, Thompson, Wardle, Watkins, Welsby, Whitehead, Williams, Young.

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