England have suffered a major blow ahead of the autumn internationals with the withdrawal of Dewsbury-born forward Sam Burgess.
The South Sydney player, named this week alongside his twin brothers Tom and George in Wayne Bennett’s 24-man squad for the game against France on October 17 and the subsequent Test series against New Zealand, says he needs to undergo shoulder and wrist surgery.
“I’m gutted that I have to withdraw because I love playing for my country,” Burgess said.
England say they will name a replacement over the weekend, allowing coach Wayne Bennett to assess contenders in tonight’s second Super League semi-final between Wigan Warriors and Castleford Tigers.
England play France at Leigh Sports Village in their first match on home soil since 2016 and take on the Kiwis at Hull’s KCOM Stadium on October 27, at Anfield on November 4 and at Elland Road on November 11.