Wayne Bennett names three England debutants in squad for Samoa Test match

Chris McQueen
Chris McQueen (centre) has played club rugby league with the Burgess brothers at South Sydney

England have called up three uncapped players in Mike McMeeken, Chris McQueen and Alex Walmsley for the mid-season Test match against Samoa on 6 May.

Castleford back-rower McMeeken and St Helens prop Alex Walmsley have been part of the Elite Performance Squad.

Australia-born McQueen, who has an English father, is involved in Wayne Bennett's plans for the first time.

Gold Coast Titans back-rower McQueen, Sam Burgess and James Graham are among eight Australia-based call-ups.

"I'm very pleased that we have this chance to play mid-season," coach Wayne Bennett said.

"It gives the team a chance to work and spend time together and allows my coaching team and I the opportunity to take a closer look at how the players can rise to the challenge of playing against a tough and uncompromising opponent."

In-form league leaders Castleford provide three players in McMeeken, half-back Luke Gale and full-back Zak Hardaker.

Super League champions Wigan have two players in the squad, including marquee half-back George Williams and captain Sean O'Loughlin.

There is a return to the side for Cronulla Sharks' NRL premiership winner Chris Heighington, another Australia-based player, whose last appearances came in 2011.

The match is being played at Campbelltown Sports Ground in Sydney and is being streamed on the internet by the Rugby Football League.

England squad to face Samoa: Sam Burgess, Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Luke Gale, Mike McMeeken, Zak Hardaker (Castleford Tigers), James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs), Ryan Hall, Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders), Chris Heighington (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks), Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves), Josh Hodgson, Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Chris McQueen (Gold Coast Titans), Sean O'Loughlin, George Williams (Wigan Warriors), Mark Percival, Alex Walmsley (St Helens), Scott Taylor (Hull FC), Gareth Widdop (St. George Illawarra Dragons).

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