England v New Zealand: James Graham named captain for second Test

James Graham
James Graham is England's most-capped player with 42 appearances
England v New Zealand, second Test
Venue: Anfield Date: Sunday, 4 November. Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app from 14:00 GMT, plus commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and text updates online

James Graham will captain England in Sunday's second Test against New Zealand at Anfield after Sean O'Loughlin was ruled out by injury.

The Wigan loose forward, 35, suffered a recurrence of a calf injury early in last Saturday's first Test win in Hull.

O'Loughlin's place in the 19-man squad is taken by Castleford's Adam Milner.

St George Illawarra Dragons prop Graham, 33, is England's most-capped player and will increase his record number of appearances to 43.

Sydney-based Sam Burgess led England in O'Loughlin's absence in the World Cup final in December, but is missing from the series due to injury and Graham stepped in as captain for the international against France a fortnight ago.

The former St Helens forward takes the armband again in his home city of Liverpool.

"With Sam not here, James was a pretty straightforward choice," said head coach Wayne Bennett. "There's not many more passionate Englishmen.

"'Lockers' has been one of the top-line players in your country, so he's a loss, but we've got to manage without him and we will.

"He'll be touch and go for the series. It's not a serious one but the calf injuries hang around with you at this stage of your career and your life.

"We lost him in the final last year in Australia and we did OK enough there."

England 19-man squad: John Bateman, George Burgess, Tom Burgess, Daryl Clark, Jake Connor, Oliver Gildart, James Graham, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Jermaine McGillvary, Richie Myler, Adam Milner, Mark Percival, Luke Thompson, Sam Tomkins, Elliott Whitehead, George Williams.


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