Castleford Tigers hooker Paul McShane named in England Elite Performance Squad

Paul McShane in action for Castleford
McShane started at Leeds and has also played for Hull, Widnes and Wakefield

Castleford Tigers hooker Paul McShane is one of 27 Super League players named in England's Elite Performance Squad.

Tigers winger Greg Eden and St Helens duo Tommy Makinson and Alex Walmsley are the other news faces in the squad.

Coach Wayne Bennett had named an initial 31-man squad in January but insisted places are still up for grabs ahead of the World Cup later this year.

"The total number of the squad has been reduced but that's not to say that the door isn't open," said Bennett.

The coach will whittle his final squad down to 24 - with eight players in the Australian NRL likely to make the cut.

He added: "Myself and staff are monitoring and watching players every week - we ask them to do their best for their club, improve as a player and work on the little things that will have a big difference come October."

The 13 Super League players that travelled to Australia for the mid-season Test against Samoa have been included - and Bennett wants them to "share their experiences with other members of the squad".

McShane has been in excellent form for Super League while Eden, who has enjoyed a new lease of life since leaving Bennett's Brisbane Broncos side at the end of last season, has scored a remarkable 28 tries in 17 matches.

Of the initial 31 named in January, second rower Joe Greenwood has moved from St Helens to Gold Coast Titans while Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield), Danny Houghton and Jamie Shaul (Hull), Kyle Amor and Matty Smith (St Helens), Brett Ferres (Leeds) and Sam Tomkins (Wigan) have been omitted from the 27.

There are three scheduled meetings for the squad between June and September, while England have confirmed they will play a World Cup warm-up game in Perth - where the squad will be based before the tournament.

They will play against an Affiliated States side made up of players from Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory on 20 October.

England Elite Performance Squad: G Eden, L Gale, Z Hardaker, M McMeeken, P McShane, M Shenton (all Castleford), J McGillvary (Huddersfield), S Taylor (Hull), R Hall, S Ward, K Watkins (Leeds), J Lomax, T Makinson, M Percival, J Roby, A Walmsley (St Helens), K Brown, D Clark, M Cooper, B Currie, C Hill, S Ratchford (Warrington), J Bateman, J Burgess, L Farrell, S O'Loughlin, G Williams (Wigan).

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