Wigan’s England internationals are expected to be put on ice for Wayne Bennett’s opening match in charge of the national team.
Brisbane supremo Bennett will take charge of England for the first time on Saturday with a Test against France in Avignon, ahead of the start of the Four Nations the following week.
I will sit one of them on the bench but will probably not play him if I don’t have toWayne Bennett
He has not yet named his first line-up, but revealed yesterday he only plans to play one of the seven players involved in the Super League Grand Final.
Wigan’s John Bateman, George Williams, Dan Sarginson and Liam Farrell played in the title-decider on October 8, along with Wolves trio Chris Hill, Stefan Ratchford – both Wiganers – and Daryl Clark.
Bennett said: “The guys from Warrington and Wigan probably won’t play. Everyone else needs the games.
“They have had more games than probably everyone else, so another week won’t hurt them being out.”
He has a 24-man squad but must call on one of those Grand Finalists as new captain Sam Burgess is suspended.
“I will sit one of them on the bench but will probably not play him if I don’t have to,” added the veteran Australian.
Bennett spoke to the media in London yesterday to confirm Burgess’ appointment. He was left in need of a new skipper after Sean O’Loughlin – who guided England to a 2-1 series triumph against New Zealand a year ago – was ruled out through injury.