England head coach Wayne Bennett has named Hull FC maverick Jake Connor in his 24-man squad to take on New Zealand.
The national side are set to host the Kiwis in a three match Test series this Autumn, with a warm up against France also scheduled.
There was some doubt that Connor’s year was over, but as broke by UTC, he returned early from a hamstring injury to play in Hull FC’s last three games of the Super League season.
The talented centre or stand-off has done enough to gain a spot, after making a brilliant international debut in Denver back in June, where Connor assisted two and scored a superb individual try in inspiring a magnificent England comeback win over New Zealand.
Connor is Hull FC’s only representation, with Scott Taylor not included. Hull FC’s player of the year has been fighting through an ongoing shoulder problem, and the opportunity to clean that out and rest up before pre-season starts has got to be considered a good thing.
Elsewhere there are five uncapped players in the squad – with Joe Greenwood, Tom Johnstone, Adam Milner, Luke Thompson and Reece Lyne, laterally a former Black and White, set for their first taste of the England jersey.
They are joined alongside the Burgess brothers, James Graham, and a fellow Hull-born and Hull FC academy product in Josh Hodgson. Talented fullback Sam Tomkins returns to the England set up too.
James Roby is injured and will miss the series.
All in all it’s an exciting squad that should be looking to get another Test series win over New Zealand – following on from the victory in 2015.
UTC will be at all three games – which take place at the KCOM Stadium (Hull), Elland Road (Leeds) and Anfield (Liverpool). Bring it on.
Full England squad: John Bateman, George Burgess, Sam Burgess, Tom Burgess, Daryl Clark, Jake Connor, Luke Gale, James Graham, Joe Greenwood, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, Tom Johnstone, Jonny Lomax, Reece Lyne, Tommy Makinson, Jermaine McGillvary, Adam Milner, Sean O’Loughlin, Mark Percival, Stefan Ratchford, Luke Thompson, Sam Tomkins, Elliot Whitehead, George Williams.
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