England Unchanged For Second Test
St George Illawarra Dragons duo Gareth Widdop and Mike Cooper will again suit up for England in the second Test against New Zealand.
England coach Steve McNamara has named an unchanged 19-man squad for Saturday’s second match of the 2015 International Series against New Zealand at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London (kick off 2.30pm UK Time).
England defeated New Zealand 26-12 in last week’s opening international at KC Stadium, Hull, and victory on Saturday in the first-ever Rugby League match to be played at the home of the 2012 London Olympics will see the national side record their first series victory over southern hemisphere opposition since 2007 when Great Britain defeated the Kiwis three-nil.
“It's been a quick turnaround from our victory less than a week ago, and it's a pleasure to be representing our country in London in front of a near sell-out crowd,” said McNamara.
“The team have recovered and trained well all week at our St George’s Park base. There's a lot of hard work and improvement in front of us, and that had to start immediately after the game on Sunday. It's a three-match series and we find ourselves 1-0 up, which is good, but at the same time there's still a lot to be done.
“Aspects of our performance against New Zealand were good. We improved as the game wore on in certain areas. I do feel, though, that we left ourselves with too much to do at the start of the game. We need to put that right this weekend.
“We know what's at stake on Saturday. We cannot afford to get carried away. We will concentrate on the processes and ensuring our preparation is right. If we execute our plans, then we will be very hard to beat.
“For the sport it is fantastic to be playing at the Olympic Stadium. We hope to do ourselves proud again and the venue is fitting for a match like this. The game has come a long way in the last few years and to be the first Rugby League team to play at this iconic stadium is huge for us.”
England 19-man squad to face New Zealand:
John Bateman (Wigan Warriors)
Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors)
Thomas Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Mike Cooper (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Leroy Cudjoe (Newsome Panthers)
Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors)
Brett Ferres (Huddersfield Giants)
James Graham (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs)
Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos)
Zak Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos)
Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves)
Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders)
Sean O’Loughlin, captain (Wigan Warriors)
James Roby (St Helens)
Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos)
Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves)
Elliott Whitehead (Catalans Dragons)
Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons)
George Williams (Wigan Warriors)
This article first appeared on England RL