England rugby league have called up former super league young player of the year and current Wigan centre Oliver Gildart to the senior squad in place of the injured Sam Burgess.
The 22 year old who will be in Wigan Warriors starting line up for this weekends Grand Final, turned down the chance to represent Italy in last years World cup and will be the fourth player to be called up from the England knights squad which is set to tour Papua New Guinea next month due to injury and withdrawal’s.
With Sam Burgess requiring shoulder surgery and more recently news that Castleford Scrum half Luke Gale will now be missing due to knee surgery, the England side will have at least seven of the side that played in last years world cup final unavailable for the up coming series against New Zealand.
Those missing that played in the world cup final are Gareth Widdop, Sam Burgess, Luke Gale, Alex Walmsley, Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall, Ben Currie and with nine of his current squad still to play in this weekend’s grand final that could increase.
This means England head coach Wayne Bennet will be looking to give a number of players their international debut over the coming month as Gildart’s Inclusion means this seasons Man of Steel runner up John Bateman could return to his more accustomed position of back row after spending the World Cup playing in the centres.
J Bateman (Wigan), G Burgess, T Burgess (both South Sydney), D Clark (Warrington), J Connor (Hull), O Gildart (Wigan), J Graham (St George Illawarra), J Greenwood (Wigan), C Hill (Warrington), J Hodgson (Canberra), T Johnstone (Wakefield), J Lomax (St Helens), R Lyne (Wakefield), T Makinson (St Helens), J McGillvary (Huddersfield), A Milner (Castleford), S O'Loughlin (Wigan), M Percival (St Helens), S Ratchford (Warrington), L Thompson (St Helens), S Tomkins (Wigan), E Whitehead (Canberra), G Williams (Wigan).