England take on Samoa in the opening game of the Rugby League World Cup on Saturday at St James’ Park.
The tournament kicks off this weekend, a year after it was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.
Shaun Wane’s squad was beaten by Australia in the final of the last World Cup in 2017 and this time will go a step further in their own country.
The Three Lions are part of Group A alongside the weekend’s opponents Samoa, France and Greece.
England vs Samoa: how to follow
The Rugby League World Cup opener takes place on Saturday October 15.
Kick-off at Newcastle’s St James’ Park is scheduled for 2.30pm.
The match will be broadcast live on BBC One from 1:15pm.
It can also be streamed live via your tablet and mobile devices on BBC iPlayer.
TalkSPORT’s Mark Wilson has been having updates from the opening game on our radio waves all afternoon.
To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 via the website, click HERE for the livestream. You can also listen through the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.
England vs Samoa: Team News
England will be without the suspended John Bateman next weekend and Mike McMeeken also has doubts after a pat.
All the players who have played a part in the Super League Grand Final are available with Mikolaj Oledzki, Tommy Makinson, Matty Lees and Morgan Knowles fit and ready.
Makinson, Dom Young and Ryan Hall will battle for a spot on the flank of the Three Lions and head coach Wane will have to make a tough decision.
- Andy Ackers (Salford Red Devils)
- Joe Batchelor (St Helens)
- John Bateman (Wigan Warriors)
- Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
- Mike Cooper (Wigan Warriors)
- Herbie Farnworth (Brisbane Broncos)
- Ryan Hall (Hull KR)
- Chris Hill (Huddersfield Giants)
- Morgan Knowles (St Helens)
- Matty Lees (St Helens)
- Tommy Makinson (St Helens)
- Michael McIlorum (Catalan dragons)
- Mike McMeeken (Catalan Dragons)
- Mikolaj Oledzki (Leed’s Rhinoceros)
- Kai Pearce-Paul (Wigan Warriors)
- Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters)
- Marc Sneyd (Salford Red Devils)
- Luke Thompson (Canterbury Bulldogs)
- Sam Tomkins (Catalan dragons)
- Kallum Watkins (Salford Red Devils)
- Jack Welsby (St Helens)
- Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders)
- George Williams (Warrington Wolves)
- Dom Young (Newcastle Knights)
England World Cup match schedule
October 15: England v Samoa – 2.30pm, St James’ Park, Newcastle
22 October: England v France – 5pm, University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton
29 October: England v Greece – 2.30pm, Bramall Lane, Sheffield
England vs Samoa: what has been said?
The ‘Captain’s Challenge’ rule will be applied for the first time in the World Cup on Saturday.
This means that each team is allowed one failed challenge per game.
England boss Wane had his say on how his team will approach the rule.
He said: “I showed the players some details and printed out areas of where we can challenge and where we can’t.
“We had a good discussion and we want to make sure that nothing goes wrong in this game.
“We need to make sure we’re on and doing the right thing. We don’t want a shock on Saturday and be punished for anything.”
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