Hometown hero Jermaine McGillvary is ready to take centre stage for England in tomorrow’s Four Nations clash against New Zealand at the John Smith’s Stadium.
National coach Wayne Bennett confirmed after the captain’s run-through on the stadium pitch that Giants winger McGillvary would be in the starting line-up against the Kiwis.
The Australian-born chief hasn’t revealed the actual make-up of his team at this stage.
But after confirming his final 17 in a side that contains just two specialised wingers in McGillvary and Leeds Rhinos’ Ryan Hall, a spot for the former Deighton Junior is nailed-on.
The Wigan pair of Liam Farrell and George Williams are the two to miss out from the 19-man squad Bennett had to announce yesterday, revealing he will be sticking with half-backs Gareth Widdop and Luke Gale following their first appearance together in last week’s 40-6 win over France in Avignon.
“I’ve only named a 19 because that’s the rules here, I’ve already settled on a 17,” Bennett told the media pitchside at the John Smith’s Stadium. “George Williams will be out, as will Liam Farrell.
“I think George is a very talented player; it was pretty close but we’re going this way at the moment, so it’s up to the boys to perform now.”
WATCH: Wayne Bennett on picking his England squad
England (probable line-up): J Lomax (St Helens); J McGillvary (Huddersfield), K Watkins (Leeds), D Sarginson (Wigan), R Hall (Leeds); G Widdop (St George Illawarra), L Gale (Castleford); C Hill (Warrington), J Hodgson (Canberra), J Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs), E Whitehead (Canberra), J Bateman (Wigan), S Burgess (South Sydney).
Subs: D Clark (Warrington), G Burgess (South Sydney), T Burgess (South Sydney), M Cooper (St George Illawarra).
New Zealand (probable line-up): J Kahu (Brisbane); J Nightingale (St George Illawarra), S Kata (NZ Warriors), S Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters), J Rapana (Canberra); T Leuluai (NZ Warriors), S Johnson (NZ Warriors); J Bromwich (Melbourne, capt), I Luke (NZ Warriors), J Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), K Proctor (Melbourne), T Harris (Melbourne), J Taumalolo (North Queensland).
Subs: L Brown (Penrith), M Taupau (Wests Tigers), M Ma’u (Parramatta), A Blair (Brisbane).
Referee: R Hicks (England).