Wayne Bennett has revealed his team to face New Zealand – and two Wigan players are making way.
England open their Four Nations campaign tomorrow at a sold-out John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield.
All four Warriors in the England squad – John Bateman, Dan Sarginson, George Williams and Liam Farrell – were named in the provisional 19-man panel.
But after captain’s run this morning, Bennett confirmed to reporters that Williams and Farrell will not be in the team.
“I’ve only named a 19 because that’s the rules here, I’ve already settled on a 17,” Bennett told the media pitchside at the John Smith’s Stadium. “George Williams will be out, as will Liam Farrell.
“I think George is a very talented player; it was pretty close but we’re going this way at the moment, so it’s up to the boys to perform now.”
Farrell, man of the match in the Grand Final, has lost out to Elliot Whitehead and club-mate Bateman for a second-row spot. Mike Cooper, on the bench, can cover back-row and prop.
And Williams’ absence suggests Gareth Widdop and Luke Gale – who started in the halves in the 40-6 win against France – will get the nod against the Kiwis.
Sarginson will start in the centres after being picked in the squad ahead of St Helens’ Mark Percival.
Thomas Leuluai, returning to Wigan next season, is in the New Zealand squad for the BBC-televised game, which kicks off at 2.30pm.