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Four Nations: England drop Widdop for Scotland match

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Highlights: England 16-17 New Zealand

England have replaced half-back Gareth Widdop with George Williams for Saturday’s Four Nations match against Scotland in Coventry.

Coach Wayne Bennett said Wigan’s Williams “will definitely play” after naming him in his initial 19-man squad.

St Helens centre Mark Percival and Hull forward Scott Taylor come into the squad, which will be cut to 17, but injured prop James Graham misses out.

Scotland boss Steve McCormack has made three changes to his squad.

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Callum and Brett Phillips, who both play for Workington Town, have both been brought into the Bravehearts’ initial 19, as has Batley Bulldogs full-back Dave Scott.

Scotland skipper Danny Brough could come up against Huddersfield Giants team-mate Jermaine McGillvary, while winger Matty Russell may line up against his Warrington captain Chris Hill.

But Giants half-back Ryan Brierley, who scored a try during his team’s defeat against Australia in Hull last Friday, has been left out of the squad.

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“Ryan scored a great try and he will get even better every time he plays,” said McCormack. “He showed bits last week of what he could do and I think he is a great player for the future.”

England lost to the Kiwis by a single point in their opening Four Nations fixture and need to defeat Scotland in Coventry to keep alive their hopes of reaching the final at Anfield on 20 November.

Stand-off Williams will win his fourth cap in England’s first match against Scotland, forming a half-back combination with Castleford’s Luke Gale.

“I saw George play in the Super League finals and I think he’s a quality player, it’s up to him now, he’s going to get a chance,” added Bennett.

“He’s been working hard in training with the players and showing the coaching staff what he can do and what he’s capable of.

“Luke’s a very talented footballer. He’s good with the ball in his hands, I’ve seen enough of him to know that. He just didn’t get the ball enough the other day.”

Bennett has included skipper Sam Burgess in his side despite the captain suffering with a sore side.

England’s Australian coach added: “We are not going to make too many changes but we also want to make sure most players in the squad get game time.”

Saturday’s match is part of a double header that will also see world champions Australia play current Four Nations holders New Zealand, kick-off 20:00 GMT. Both games are live on BBC Two.

England’s 19-man squad to face Scotland:

John Bateman (Wigan Warriors), George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Thomas Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves), Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves / St George-Illwarra Dragons), Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors), Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers), Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos), Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves), Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders), Jonny Lomax (St Helens), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Mark Percival (St Helens), Dan Sarginson (Wigan Warriors / Gold Coast Titans), Scott Taylor (Hull FC), Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos), Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders), George Williams (Wigan Warriors)

Scotland’s 19-man squad to face England:

Danny Addy (Bradford Bulls), Euan Aitkin (St George Illawarra Dragons), Sam Brooks (Widnes Vikings), Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants), Tyler Cassel (Wests Tigers), Lachlan Coote (North Queensland Cowboys), Luke Douglas (Gold Coast Titans), Dale Ferguson (Bradford Bulls), Ben Hellewell (London Broncos), Liam Hood (Leigh Centurions), Ben Kavanagh (Bradford Bulls), Kane Linnett (North Queensland Cowboys), Frankie Mariano (Castleford Tigers), Brett Phillips (Workington Town), Callum Phillips (Workington Town), Matthew Russell (Warrington Wolves), Dave Scott (Batley Bulldogs), Lewis Tierney (Wigan Warriors), Adam Walker (Hull KR)