Carl Ablett cancels stag do after surprise England call-up
Last updated on .From the section Rugby League
Carl Ablett has cancelled his stag do in Las Vegas after his surprise call into England's Four Nations squad.
The uncapped 25-year-old is one of seven Leeds Rhinos players in the party for the matches against Wales, Australia and New Zealand.
"Carl's obviously delighted with his call-up, even though it's cost him a few quid," said coach Steve McNamara.
Ben Jones-Bishop and Ryan Bailey are also celebrating their first call-ups to the national team.
Prop Jamie Peacock will captain the side, but scrum-half Rob Burrow, who was man of the match in Leeds' 32-16 Grand Final win over St Helens, is out injured. Castleford's New Zealand-born half-back Rangi Chase - Super League's Man of Steel - is also in the 24-man squad.
Leeds did not have one player in the 2011 Super League dream team but their late-season revival, culminating in their fourth victory against Saints in five years in the showpiece final, has brought reward for several members of their side.
"I think it's important we have players who are confident and in form and players who are not carrying injuries as well," said McNamara.
"The form of Leeds at the back end of the season has certainly strengthened their claims."
Ablett's inclusion is surprising given his revelation in the aftermath of the Grand Final win that he fractured a cheekbone in the last match of the regular season six weeks ago.
St Helens centre Michael Shenton is ruled out after dislocating his elbow in the Grand Final but the Saints have four representatives, including half-back Jonny Lomax.
Two Wigan players are in the squad but Joel Tomkins has made himself unavailable amid growing speculation that he is set to switch codes and join union side Saracens.
Warriors loose forward Sean O'Loughlin and South Sydney forward Sam Burgess are also missing but Australia-based quartet Chris Heighington, Gareth Widdop, Jack Reed and Gareth Ellis are in.
England play France in a warm-up game in Avignon on Friday 21 October before opening their Four Nations campaign against Wales at Leigh on Saturday, 29 October.
England's Four Nations Series squad:
Carl Ablett (Leeds), Ryan Bailey (Leeds), Tom Briscoe (Hull), Garreth Carvell (Warrington), Rangi Chase (Castleford), Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield), Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers), James Graham (St Helens), Ryan Hall (Leeds), Chris Heighington (Wests Tigers), Ben Jones-Bishop (Leeds), Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds), Jonny Lomax (St Helens), Michael McIlorum (Wigan), Adrian Morley (Warrington), Jamie Peacock (Leeds, capt), Jack Reed (Brisbane), James Roby (St Helens), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds), Sam Tomkins (Wigan), Ben Westwood (Warrington), Gareth Widdop (Melbourne), Jon Wilkin (St Helens), Kirk Yeaman (Hull).