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Four Nations 2016: Sam Burgess in 24-man England squad

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Burgess’ World Cup highlights

Sam Burgess has been named in the 24-man England squad for the Four Nations tournament, which starts this month.

It is the first time the South Sydney Rabbitohs forward, 27, has been picked since he returned from rugby union.

New coach Wayne Bennett has chosen four uncapped players: Hull’s Scott Taylor, Castleford’s Luke Gale and St Helens duo Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival.

Bennett said: “To have Sam Burgess back is not just a boost for England but one for the international game.”

Wigan’s Sean O’Loughlin, captain for last year’s series against New Zealand, has been left out because of injury.

There is no place for Super League player of the year Danny Houghton.

The Hull player, last week named Man of Steel, has lost out to Canberra’s Josh Hodgson and Warrington’s Daryl Clark for the hooking roles.

Bennett has retained 15 players from the New Zealand series, with Zak Hardaker and Joe Burgess among those to miss out.

Burgess’ brother George and Wigan’s Dan Sarginson are among those recalled.

“There’s some serious talent in this English side,” said Bennett.

“I’ve always said that there wouldn’t be too many changes and there are plenty of guys in the squad who worked hard in last year’s series win against New Zealand who have gone on and performed in 2016.”

England have never won the Four Nations, which this year also includes Australia, New Zealand and Scotland. They have reached two of the four finals.

They play a one-off match against France in Avignon on 22 October before Four Nations matches against New Zealand in Huddersfield on 29 October, Scotland in Coventry on 5 November and Australia at the Olympic Stadium on 13 November.

Full squad: John Bateman (Wigan Warriors); Kevin Brown (Widnes Vikings); George Burgess; Sam Burgess; Thomas Burgess (all South Sydney Rabbitohs); Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves); Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves/St George-Illwarra Dragons); Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors); Brett Ferres (Leeds Rhinos); Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers); James Graham (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs); Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos); Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves); Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders); Jonny Lomax (St Helens); Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants); Mark Percival (St Helens); Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves); Dan Sarginson (Wigan Warriors/Gold Coast Titans); Scott Taylor (Hull FC); Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos); Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders); Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons); George Williams (Wigan Warriors).

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/37601554