England v Samoa: Sean O'Loughlin says game provides ideal preparation

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England v Samoa Test
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney Date: Saturday, 6 May Kick-off: 10:40 BST Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

England captain Sean O'Loughlin feels the Test match against Samoa will provide ideal preparation for the World Cup later this year.

Wayne Bennett's side face the Pacific Islanders in Sydney on Saturday, their last Test before the 14-team tournament.

England face Australia in their opening game on 27 October.

"Samoa like to play a real physical, tough game as well as throwing the ball about," said Wigan's O'Loughlin.

England have tended to remain in the northern hemisphere in the build-up to major tournaments, playing Italy in 2013 and France in 2015 and 2016, but Australian coach Bennett wanted a sterner test for his side.

O'Loughlin, who wins his 18th cap, added: "It's going to be tough but I think that's probably the most important thing to take out of this game, the quality we will get from playing good opposition.

"Sometimes in the past winning games by 40-odd points is not always the best prep for coming up against Australia and New Zealand."

Castleford Tigers' Mike McMeeken and Gold Coast Titans' Chris McQueen will make their international debuts for England, while Cronulla's Chris Heighington will make his first appearance since 2011.

Samoa have named an all-NRL squad for the match, with former Australia players Anthony Milford and Josh McGuire and ex-New Zealand international Sam Kasiano included in the side under new international eligibility laws.

The sides last met in the opening match of the 2014 Four Nations, when England ran out narrow victors.

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