CASTLEFORD Tigers star Rangi Chase has been included as expected in the England 24-man squad announced by coach Steve McNamara for the 2011 Gillette Four Nations tournament in England and Wales starting later this month.
Leeds Rhinos prop Jamie Peacock will captain the side at the showpiece tournament where England face Wales (October 29), Australia (November 5) and New Zealand (November 12). The top two teams from the group matches will advance through to the Gillette Four Nations Final at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday November 19.
The squad has a blend of experience and youth ranging from Warrington Wolves forward Adrian Morley, who will be hoping to add to his 37 international caps for both England and Great Britain, to six uncapped players, including the youngest member in the squad Jonny Lomax, 21, who has been in outstanding form with club side St Helens.
Leeds Rhinos, who have just enjoyed their fifth Engage Super League Grand Final victory in eight years, have seven representatives in Carl Ablett, Ryan Bailey, Ryan Hall, Ben Jones-Bishop, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield.
St Helens, this year’s Engage Super League Grand Final beaten finalists, have four players in the squad – James Graham, Jonny Lomax, James Roby and Jon Wilkin.
The other clubs represented are Warrington Wolves (three players), Wigan Warriors (two), Hull FC (two), Wests Tigers (two), Brisbane Broncos, Castleford Tigers, Huddersfield Giants and Melbourne Storm (one each).
On naming his squad Steve McNamara said:
“I am really happy with the balance of the squad. There is an excellent blend of strength, experience and flair and we have real quality in every department.
“For the squad and my coaching staff it is important to look forward and make sure we are fully prepared and ready for what should be an excellent Gillette Four Nations tournament.
“One of the pleasing aspects for me is the significant amount of home grown talent that has come through the Academy system. At least three quarters of the squad is made up of players that are Federation Trained and that just shows the strength we now have and the clear pathway we are trying to promote.”
The 24-man squad for the 2011 Gillette Four Nations tournament (current club side and community club in brackets):
Carl Ablett (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Parkside)
Ryan Bailey (Leeds Rhinos, Milford)
Tom Briscoe (Hull FC, Featherstone Lions)
Garreth Carvell (Warrington Wolves, Stanningley)
Rangi Chase (Castleford Tigers, Dannevirke Tigers)
Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield Giants, Newsome Panthers)
Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers, Lock Lane)
James Graham (St Helens, Blackbrook)
Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Chris Heighington (Wests Tigers, Umina Bunnies)
Ben Jones-Bishop (Leeds Rhinos, Milford)
Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley)
Jonny Lomax (St Helens, Orrell St James)
Michael McIlorum (Wigan Warriors, Queens)
Adrian Morley (Warrington Wolves, Eccles)
Jamie Peacock (captain) (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley)
Jack Reed (Brisbane Broncos, South Logan Magpies)
James Roby (St Helens, Blackbrook)
Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos, Waterhead)
Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors. Wigan St Pats)
Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves, Normanton)
Gareth Widdop (Melbourne Storm, King Cross)
Jon Wilkin (St Helens, East Hull)
Kirk Yeaman (Hull FC, Myton Warriors)
England start their Gillette Four Nations campaign on Saturday, October 29 when they take on Wales at Leigh Sports Village (2.30pm) with tickets priced at just £10 adults and £5 concessions.
The tournament moves to Wembley Stadium on Saturday, November 5 when Wales face New Zealand at 1pm before England clash with Australia at 3.30pm.
England’s remaining game against New Zealand will be played at the KC Stadium in Hull on Saturday, November 12 (6pm) and tickets are priced from £20 adult and £10 concession.
The 2011 Gillette Four Nations final will be played at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday, November 19 (6pm) and tickets are priced from £20 adult and £10 concession.
Tickets for the 2011 Gillette Four Nations can be purchased by calling 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk