With the rugby league club season coming to an end this Saturday with the Grand final, its time for attentions to be turned to the international game and with it the inaugural World cup nines which will kick off in Sydney over the 18th and 19th of October.
The nines comes ahead of the first Great Britian tour in twelve years as the lions head to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in November.
With no players from the two teams St Helens and Salford due to their involvement in this weekends Grand Final, former Saints prop forward and veteran England prop forward James Graham will lead the english for the Nines tournament with a squad that is packed with experience and youth.
With England being drawn in the same qualifying pool as France, Wales and the Lebanon they will be hopefully of progressing to the semi final stages as the group winners to face the bigger challenges from New Zealand or Australia.
Graham who currently plays his rugby with NRL side St George Illawarra Dragon’s is joined by another five Australian based English man with dragons team mate Gareth Widdop, Canberra Raiders duo Elliot Whitehead and Ryan Sutton, Sydney Rooster wingman Ryan Hall and South Sydney prop Tom Burgess.
They are accompanied by a further ten members of the squad from super league, with another five players in Liam Watts, Jake Trueman, Ashley Handley, Jack Hughes and Reece Lyne all making their first appearance for a senior England side.
For the first time England will also field a women’s nine a side team in a competition which will run alongside the men’s, except this one will only consists of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and England who will all play each other in an round robin format with the top two going straight into the final on the second day.
England men's squad: James Graham (St George Illawarra Dragons – capt), Tom Burgess (South Sydney), Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves), Jake Connor (Hull FC), Ryan Hall (Sydney Roosters), Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos), Jack Hughes (Warrington Wolves), Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Ryan Sutton (Canberra Raiders), Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons), Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers), Liam Watts (Castleford Tigers), Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders), Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons), George Williams (Wigan Warriors).
England Women's provisional squad: Dannielle Anderson (Leeds Rhinos), Caitlin Beevers (Leeds Rhinos), Charlotte Booth (Leeds Rhinos), Leah Burke (St Helens), Chantelle Crowl (St Helens), Jodie Cunningham (St Helens), Grace Field (Castleford Tigers), Faye Gaskin (St Helens), Kelsey Gentles (Castleford Tigers), Rebecca Greenfield (Wigan Warriors), Amy Hardcastle (Bradford Bulls), Shona Hoyle (Castleford Tigers), Amy Johnson (Leeds Rhinos), Tara Jones (St Helens), Shannon Lacey (Leeds Rhinos), Sinead Peach (Castleford Tigers), Tamzin Renouf (Castleford Tigers), Georgia Roche (Castleford Tigers), Emily Rudge (St Helens), Tara-Jane Stanley (Castleford Tigers), Rachel Thompson (Wigan Warriors), Vicky Whitfield (St Helens), Naomi Williams (St Helens), Georgia Wilson (Wigan Warriors)