Jake Connor and Tommy Makinson to make England debuts

Last Updated June 20 2018, 09:48Rugby League
Jake Connor - makes England debut
Jake Connor - makes England debut

England head coach Wayne Bennett has named debutants Jake Connor and Tommy Makinson in his team to face New Zealand but there is no place for Luke Thompson.

With Wigan half-back George Williams already ruled out of Saturday's historic Test match in Denver with a knee injury, St Helens prop Thompson is the only fit member of Bennett's 19-man squad to miss out.

The side to face the Kiwis at the Mile High Stadium includes 12 players who were part of the team beaten by Australia in the World Cup final in December.

On uncapped pair Connor and Makinson, Bennett said: "Their form is good in the UK and that's half the battle - playing well at the right time of the year, and they are playing well.

"It'll be a different contest to what they're used to but they look like they're well equipped to handle it."

Scott Taylor, who featured only once at the World Cup, has been preferred ahead of Thompson after receiving a late call-up following the withdrawal of George Burgess.

"Scott's been in the squad since I've been coach but he hasn't played enough Test matches so he's going to get an opportunity to show us what he can do this week," said Bennett.

He is excited to help showcase rugby league in Colorado.

"It's important and the players think it's important," he said. "We wouldn't have come otherwise and fought as hard as we did to get it on; certainly the clubs weren't keen about it, most of the clubs weren't.

"We believe it's important and we're all pleased to be here. There is going to be a World Cup here in 2025 so it's important that we start to play a lot more football over here so the Americans understand what rugby league is and how it's played."

England's 17-squad to face New Zealand: John Bateman, Sam Burgess, Thomas Burgess, Jake Connor, James Graham, Ryan Hall, Chris Hill, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Jermaine McGillvary, Sean O'Loughlin (captain), Mark Percival, Stefan Ratchford, James Roby, Scott Taylor, Elliott Whitehead, Gareth Widdop.

Related rugby league links

Most Read

Sporting Life Open Championship tips: Ben Coley is backing experience at Carnoustie1

The Open: Outright betting preview

Golf expert Ben Coley tipped the winner of last year's Open Championship and includes two rank outsiders among his selections for Carnoustie.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action2

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Hart Stopper her best bet on Wednesday and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

The latest from the back pages3

Wednesday's Paper Talk

The latest transfer talk and rumours from the back pages including a potential world record bid by Liverpool for a goalkeeper.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing4

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Dave Ord previews Wednesday's action with the Sporting Life Daily Nap running at Wolverhampton's evening card.

The latest transfer news for Tuesday July 175

Transfer news and completed deals

The latest transfer rumours and completed deals including the latest as Liverpool finally make their move for Roma's Alisson.

Most Read

Sporting Life Open Championship tips: Ben Coley is backing experience at Carnoustie1

The Open: Outright betting preview

Golf expert Ben Coley tipped the winner of last year's Open Championship and includes two rank outsiders among his selections for Carnoustie.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action2

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Hart Stopper her best bet on Wednesday and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

The latest from the back pages3

Wednesday's Paper Talk

The latest transfer talk and rumours from the back pages including a potential world record bid by Liverpool for a goalkeeper.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing4

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Dave Ord previews Wednesday's action with the Sporting Life Daily Nap running at Wolverhampton's evening card.

The latest transfer news for Tuesday July 175

Transfer news and completed deals

The latest transfer rumours and completed deals including the latest as Liverpool finally make their move for Roma's Alisson.

Racing Tips

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Dave Ord previews Wednesday's action with the Sporting Life Daily Nap running at Wolverhampton's evening card.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Hart Stopper her best bet on Wednesday and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

Next Race Off
09:30 Mysore
1
(6)
New Beginning
J: S Manohar
5
(3)
Italian Stallion
J: L Prashant
7
(10)
Amazing Beauty
J: V R Jagadeesh

Football Tips

Neymar in action for Brazil against Serbia

Sporting Life: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in July 2018.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

We have two best bets for the World Cup final

World Cup final betting tips

There's a David v Goliath battle in the World Cup final but will France prove just one game too far for Croatia? Paul Higham has two best bets.