Four Nations: Sean O'Loughlin named England captain

Sean O'Loughlin
O'Loughlin is one of seven Wigan players in the squad
Rugby League Four Nations
Venue: Australia & New Zealand Dates: 25 October-15 November
Coverage: All England matches live on BBC TV, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin has been named as England captain for the upcoming Four Nations tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

The 31-year-old takes over from Kevin Sinfield, who announced his international retirement in September.

The 24-man squad includes 13 survivors from last year's Rugby League World Cup and nine uncapped players.

England start their campaign against Samoa on Saturday, 25 October, before taking on Australia and New Zealand.

"I'm very excited by this new challenge," said O'Loughlin, who made his first international appearance in 2004.

"It's about going out there and leading from example."

England's Four Nations fixtures
Saturday, 25 October: England v Samoa, Brisbane (07:00 BST)
Sunday, 2 November: England v Australia, Melbourne (05:00 GMT)
Saturday, 8 November: England v New Zealand, Dunedin (07:00 GMT)
Saturday, 15 November: Final, Wellington (07:45 GMT)

Among the newcomers to the squad is Castleford's Steve Prescott Man of Steel nominee Daryl Clark.

He will be in contention for a starting role as fellow hookers James Roby (St Helens) and Michael McIlorum (Wigan) are both out of the tour because they require surgery at the end of the season, as does Warrington forward Ben Westwood.

Also included are Wigan trio Matty Smith, Dan Sarginson and teenager Joe Burgess, whose try on Friday helped the Warriors beat Warrington to reach the Super League Grand Final.

Call-ups are also handed to St George Illawarra Dragons forward Mike Cooper, whose career has flourished since moving from Warrington to Australia and Josh Hodgson, who will be joining NRL side Canberra Raiders from Hull KR later in the year.

Clark's Castleford team-mate Michael Shenton returns to the international fold for the first time since October 2010, while Wigan's Joel Tomkins is included alongside his brother Sam, after returning from a three-year stint in rugby union.

"We spent a long time selecting this squad and there were some close calls with a lot of competition for places," said coach Steve McNamara.

"But ultimately we chose the players who will give us the best chance of winning a major tournament in Australasia for the first time since 1990, when Great Britain defeated New Zealand.

"We have a tremendous challenge in front of us but I know the players have the desire, appetite and quality to do English rugby league proud in this tournament."

England squad: George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors), Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Josh Charnley (Wigan Warriors), Daryl Clark (Castleford), Mike Cooper (St George Illawarra Dragons), Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors), Brett Ferres (Huddersfield Giants), James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs), Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos), Zak Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos), Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves), Josh Hodgson (Hull KR), Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan Warriors), Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves), Dan Sarginson (Wigan Warriors), Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers), Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors), Joel Tomkins (Wigan Warriors), Sam Tomkins (NZ Warriors), Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos), Joe Westerman (Hull FC), Elliott Whitehead (Catalans Dragons), Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons).

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