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England recall Joe Westerman and Gareth Widdop to World Cup squad

England recall Joe Westerman and Gareth Widdop to World Cup squad
© Reuters
Reece Lyne and Tom Davies have also received call-ups.

Wakefield loose forward Joe Westerman and Warrington half-back Gareth Widdop have been recalled to Shaun Wane's England squad preparing for the end-of-season World Cup.

Westerman won his only previous cap against Samoa in 2014 but has been in outstanding form for his club this year, as has Widdop, who was an England regular under previous coaches Steve McNamara and Wayne Bennett.

The 31-year-old Westerman's case was pressed by his coach Chris Chester when Wane visited the Wakefield club this week.

"Joe is playing the best rugby I've seen from him for a long time," Chester said.

Westerman's Wakefield team-mate Reece Lyne also gets a call-up, along with Catalans Dragons' former Wigan winger Tom Davies as Wane expands his elite training squad to 38.

There is, however, no recall for Hull's versatile back Jake Connor, who is also in good form but facing stiff competition for the full-back role from Sam Tomkins and Zak Hardaker.

Wane said: "I watch every Super League game, every week, and the door is always open to players who are performing.

Shaun Wane File Photo
England head coach Shaun Wane says the door is always open (PA Images/Anthony Devlin)

"I've been impressed in recent weeks by what I've seen from these four players and the data we have on them backs that up.

"They are consistently hitting the performance levels required at the highest level."

Hull centre Josh Griffin keeps his place in the squad, even though he is unlikely to be available after undergoing surgery this week for a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Castleford Tigers v Warrington Wolves – Betfred Super League – Emerald Headingley Stadium
Warrington half-back Gareth Widdop has played his way back into the England squad (PA Images/Martin Rickett)

Wane will next Wednesday announce his squad for England's match against the Combined Nations All Stars on Friday, June 25 at Warrington's Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Rugby Football League has cancelled Monday's scheduled training session at Headingley due to the volume of injuries at some clubs and the prevailing uncertainty caused by Covid outbreaks at others.

England squad: J Bateman (Wigan), T Burgess (South Sydney), D Clark, M Cooper, B Currie (all Warrington), T Davies (Catalans Dragons), N Evalds (Castleford), L Farrell (Wigan), L Gale (Leeds), O Gildart (Wigan), J Griffin (Hull FC), A Handley (Leeds), Z Hardaker (Wigan), J Hodgson (Canberra), T Johnstone (Wakefield), T King (Warrington), M Knowles (St Helens), R Lyne (Wakefield), J Lomax (St Helens), J McGillvary (Huddersfield), P McShane (Castleford), T Makinson (St Helens), D Manfredi (Wigan), H Newman (Leeds), M Percival (St Helens), J Philbin, S Ratchford (both Warrington), J Roby (St Helens), D Sarginson (Salford), R Sutton (Canberra), L Thompson (Canterbury Bulldogs), S Tomkins (Catalans Dragons), A Walmsley (St Helens), K Watkins (Salford), J Westerman (Wakefield), E Whitehead (Canberra), G Widdop (Warrington), G Williams (unattached).

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Shaun Wane pictured in October 2018
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United StatesUnited States20231659
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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