Rugby League

England announce Rugby League World Cup squad

Tom Burgess is the controversial selection of three brothers. (©GettyImages)
Tom Burgess is the controversial selection of three brothers. (©GettyImages).

England have revealed the squad to play in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup today, and made history at the same time.

This is the first time that three brothers have made it into the squad - 21-year-old twins George and Tom Burgess and their brother Sam, 24. Their older brother, 26-year-old Leeds prop, Luke, missed out.

However, the selection of Tom has been causing controversy; the usual prop forward has just signed a one year deal with South Sydney Rabbitohs, and has been selected over Huddersfield powerhouse Eorl Crabtree.

Head coach, Steve McNamara, has said he is aware of the scepticism the squad are under, but is happy with his selections.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "After three years of excellent preparation and the success of the England elite training programme during that period, we are ready for the Rugby League World Cup 2013.

"We are fully aware that the Rugby League World Cup 2013 will be fiercely contested and that this squad will need to work extremely hard and play to a very high level to win the tournament and we believe we have selected a squad capable of doing just that."

The last time Great Britain won the Rugby League World Cup was in 1972 over Australia, who have since dominated the tournament, until 2008 when New Zealand soared to victory for the first time in the tournament's history with a spectacular 34-20 win over Australia in Brisbane.

McNamara didn't seem to be phased by previous results however, and is confident his side can make an impact in-front of the home supporters.

He added: "As we have seen in previous tournaments, we will need all members of the squad ready to step up and make vital contributions and we feel that all 24 players have the ability to do that.

"To have a World Cup on home soil is a massive opportunity for the sport and I hope the public will turn up in their numbers and show their support for England."

Most of the squad fly to South Africa tomorrow for a training camp.

England have a warm-up game against Italy on Saturday in Salford, and a week later face their opening match in Cardiff against Australia.

England's 24-man squad: Carl Ablett (Leeds), Tom Briscoe (Hull), George Burgess, Sam Burgess, Tom Burgess (all South Sydney), Rob Burrow (Leeds), Josh Charnley (Wigan), Rangi Chase (Castleford), Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield), Liam Farrell (Wigan), James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs), Ryan Hall (Leeds), Zak Hardaker (Leeds), Chris Hill (Warrington), Gareth Hock (Widnes), Michael McIlorum (Wigan), Lee Mossop (Wigan), Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan), James Roby (St Helens), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds, capt), Sam Tomkins (Wigan), Kallum Watkins (Leeds), Ben Westwood (Warrington), Gareth Widdop (Melbourne).

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