England debutants Mikey Lewis and Harry Newman named in 19-man squad for Tonga opener

Hull KR half-back Mikey Lewis and Leeds Rhinos centre Harry Newman will make their England debuts in Sunday's opening Test against Tonga.

Both players have been named in Shaun Wane's 19-man squad for the clash in St Helens as two of only seven specialist backs.

Lewis was one of KR's standout performers in a hugely promising season for the Craven Park club, while Newman finally has the chance to prove himself in England colours after overcoming a series of serious injuries.

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St Helens full-back Jack Welsby will captain the side in the absence of George Williams, who begins a two-match ban for an incident in Warrington Wolves' final game of the Super League season.

Former Wakefield Trinity winger Tom Johnstone is poised to earn his second cap five years on from his first and ex-Castleford Tigers hooker Daryl Clark also makes his long-awaited return to the international scene.

Robbie Mulhern – formerly of Leeds and Hull KR – is competing with the likes of Huddersfield Giants prop Chris Hill for a place in the final 17 as he looks to add to his sole England appearance in 2018.

Wakefield-born winger Dom Young is ruled out through injury, while Tyler Dupree, Ben Currie and Matty Ashton also miss out from the original 24-man squad.

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"I’m really pleased and confident with the squad I’ve selected for this opening fixture against Tonga," said Wane.

Mikey Lewis is poised to make his England debut. (Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix.com)Mikey Lewis is poised to make his England debut. (Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix.com)
Mikey Lewis is poised to make his England debut. (Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix.com)

"We’ve had a strong week since arriving in camp and we are heading into this weekend focused with a job to do.

"We hope that the fans will turn out in their numbers to help us over the line."

England 19-man squad: Bateman (Wests Tigers), Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Clark (Warrington Wolves), Farrell (Wigan Warriors), Hill (Huddersfield Giants), Johnstone (Catalans Dragons), King (Wigan Warriors), Knowles, Lees (both St Helens), Lewis (Hull KR), Makinson (St Helens), McMeeken (Catalans Dragons), Mulhern (Leigh Leopards), Newman (Leeds Rhinos), Radley (Sydney Roosters), Smith (Wigan Warriors), Walker (Warrington Wolves), Welsby (captain, St Helens), Whitehead (Canberra Raiders).

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