Three Wigan players in England squad

Sean O'Loughlin in England training
Sean O'Loughlin in England training

Three Wigan players have been named in the England squad for the World Cup.

Sean O’Loughlin will captain Wayne Bennett’s tourists.

And club team-mates George Williams and John Bateman have also been included in the 24-man panel.

But there is no place for full-back Sam Tomkins, despite the suspension of Zak Hardaker.

The Castleford No.1 was ruled out of the tournament after failing a doping test for cocaine, which forced him to sit-out Saturday’s Grand Final.

Despite his omission, Tomkins has not been drafted in, with Bennett instead opting for St Helens’ Jonny Lomax.

Warrington’s Stefan Ratchford, a Wiganer, can also play full-back.

Liam Farrell, who was overlooked for the mid-season Test against Samoa, has not been included and there is no place for winger Joe Burgess.

O’Loughlin captained England to a series victory over New Zealand in 2015 and was retained as skipper by Bennett when he took over.

The loose-forward missed last year’s Four Nations through injury, but led England to a mid-season Test win against Samoa.

Williams and Bateman were both involved in last year’s Four Nations.

Warrington’s Ben Currie and St Helens prop Alex Walmsley are the only uncapped players called up by Bennett.

St Helens hooker, James Roby also returns to the squad.

Bennett said: “Selecting the final 24 with the help of my coaching staff was tough and that was down to the effort and performances of many players throughout the season.

“The competitiveness of Super League and NRL and knowing the goal of playing for your country in a World Cup has made many raise their game and become better athletes.

“The England programme has been very active leading into this tournament and having the squad meet up on regular occasions – on and off the field – has put us in a positive place before everyone gets into camp.

“We had to put the disappointment of the Four Nations behind us quickly and the meetings that followed that tournament set out what was required to be successful in the World Cup. Everyone has fully bought into this and we can’t wait to get started.”

England play a friendly against Affiliated States in Perth on October 20 before starting their campaign a week later in Melbourne against Australia.

They also face Lebanon and France in the group stages, and all of England’s World Cup matches will be broadcast live on the BBC.

Wigan have other players represented at the tournament, which takes place in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea from October 27 to December 2.

Centre Oliver Gildart (Italy), half Thomas Leuluai (New Zealand), forward Romain Navarrete (France), hooker Micky McIlorum and squad player Jack Hingginson (both Ireland) have all been included.

Lewis Tierney, who spent the back-end of last season on loan at Catalans, is expected to be named in the Scotland squad tomorrow. Coach Steve McCormack, a Wiganer, also works at the Warriors.

England Rugby League World Cup 24-man squad (number of caps, professional and community club in brackets):

John Bateman (6, Wigan Warriors, Bradford Dudley Hill)

Kevin Brown (6, Warrington Wolves, Thatto Heath Crusaders)

Sam Burgess (18, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)

Thomas Burgess (14, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)

Ben Currie (0, Warrington Wolves, Golborne Parkside)

Luke Gale (4, Castleford Tigers, Middleton Marauders)

James Graham (33, St George Illawarra Dragons, Blackbrook)

Ryan Hall (32, Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)

Chris Heighington (5, Cronulla Sharks, Umina Bunnies)

Chris Hill (19, Warrington Wolves, New Springs Lions)

Josh Hodgson (11, Canberra Raiders, East Hull)

Jonny Lomax (4, St Helens, Orrell St James)

Jermaine McGillvary (6, Huddersfield Giants, Deighton Juniors)

Mike McMeeken (1, Castleford Tigers, Staines Titans)

Sean O’Loughlin (18, Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

Mark Percival (3, St Helens, Halton Farnworth Hornets)

Stefan Ratchford (2, Warrington Wolves, Wigan St Patricks)

James Roby (26, St Helens, Blackbrook)

Scott Taylor (2, Hull FC, Skirlaugh)

Alex Walmsley (0, St Helens, Dewsbury Celtic)

Kallum Watkins (20, Leeds Rhinos, Latchford Albion)

Elliott Whitehead (10, Canberra Raiders, West Bowling)

Gareth Widdop (21, St George Illawarra Dragons, King Cross)

George Williams (5, Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)