DFP – Head Script

Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

Watkins and Hall return to face Papua New Guinea

14th November 2017 | 2:55 pm

By Phil Daly

Kallum Watkins during an England Rugby League Team training run before their quarter final match against Papua New Guinea at Lakeside Stadium Albert Park Melbourne Australia. Tuesday 14 November 2017. Copyright Photo. Brendon Ratnayake / www.photosport.nz MANDATORY CREDIT/BYLINE : Brendon Ratnayake/SWpix.com/PhotosportNZ

Leeds Rhinos starts Ryan Hall and Kallum Watkins have been named in Wayne Bennett’s side to face Papua New Guinea in the Rugby League World Cup quarter-final at AAMI Park, Melbourne on Sunday, November 19 (4.00pm AEDT).

WP – In Article MPU

Leeds Rhinos starts Ryan Hall and Kallum Watkins have been named in Wayne Bennett’s side to face Papua New Guinea in the Rugby League World Cup quarter-final at AAMI Park, Melbourne on Sunday, November 19 (4.00pm AEDT).

Both were rested for the final pool game against France last weekend in Perth but return along with skipper Sam Burgess, who picked up the injury during the opening game of the tournament against Australia. He has spent the last few weeks working with England staff on a recovery programme that would make him available to play during the knock-out stages of the World Cup.

Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead also return to the squad after being rested for the France game last week.

Man of the match against France, Gareth Widdop remains in the full-back position and Kevin Brown retains his place at stand-off alongside Luke Gale. Jonny Lomax is recovering from a calf strain.

Papua New Guinea topped Pool C after winning all of their games in Port Moresby against Wales, Ireland and USA.

England’s last encounter against The Kumuls was back in 2010 during a Four Nations game at Eden Park, Auckland. England ran out 36-10 winners and current squad members Ryan Hall, Kevin Brown, James Graham, James Roby, Sam Burgess, Sean O’Loughlin and Gareth Widdop featured.

England Head Coach, Wayne Bennett, said: “We’ve just had a good week in Perth and I was glad to get the win against France. The players are aware of what needs fixing up from that game.

“We were very clinical in the first half but need to be more disciplined to make it more than that and turn it into an 80-minute display.

“We’re back in Melbourne in familiar surroundings and have big few days ahead of us in terms of preparation. Papua New Guinea have shown they can play and have got some quality in their side.”

England 21-man squad to face Papua New Guinea:

Gareth Widdop
Jermaine McGillvary
Kallum Watkins
John Bateman
Ryan Hall
Kevin Brown
Luke Gale
Chris Hill
Josh Hodgson
James Graham
Sam Burgess
Elliott Whitehead
Sean O’Loughlin ©
Alex Walmsley
Thomas Burgess
Ben Currie
James Roby
Chris Heighington
Mark Percival
Stefan Ratchford
George Williams