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Huddersfield veteran Chris Hill earns shock recall to England’s World Cup squad

Huddersfield prop Chris Hill (right) tackles Salford hooker Andy Ackers. They will be England team-mates in the World Cup (PA Images/Martin Rickett)
Huddersfield prop Chris Hill (right) tackles Salford hooker Andy Ackers. They will be England team-mates in the World Cup (PA Images/Martin Rickett)

Huddersfield’s veteran prop Chris Hill has earned an England recall for the 2021 World Cup.

The 34-year-old former Warrington front rower is a shock inclusion in coach Shaun Wane’s 24-man squad for the tournament which kicks off against Samoa at Newcastle on October 15.

Hill is the chief beneficiary of the absence of St Helens prop Alex Walmsley, while Salford scrum-half Marc Sneyd is chosen to plug the gap created by the loss of Jonny Lomax with a bicep injury.

Hill, who enjoyed a new lease of life following his move to Huddersfield, is one of six survivors from the team that reached the 2017 World Cup final in Brisbane.

The others are Tom Burgess, one of six NRL-based players, Elliott Whitehead, Kallum Watkins, John Bateman and Ryan Hall, who will have the chance to add to his record tally of 35 England tries.

Despite the absence of Walmsley and Lomax, champions St Helens still provide five members of the squad.

Sam Tomkins will lead a side that contains six new faces in NRL trio Herbie Farnworth, Victor Radley and Dom Young, Salford pair Sneyd and Andy Ackers and Wigan centre or second rower Kai Pearce-Paul.

Huddersfield Giants v Salford Red Devils – Betfred Super League Eliminator – John Smith’s Stadium
Salford hooker Andy Ackers is one of six new faces in the England squad (PA Images/Martin Rickett)

Farnworth, 22, was born in Lancashire and played amateur rugby league for Wigan St Patrick’s before moving to Australia while Radley, 24, qualifies through his Sheffield-born father.

Young, 21, who made a handful of appearances for Huddersfield before joining Newcastle Knights two years ago, opted to play for England rather than Jamaica.

England will play a World Cup warm-up match against Fiji at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford next Friday before beginning their World Cup campaign eight days later.

Wane said: “After so many conversations with the players over the last two years, it’s exciting for all of us to be getting ready to go into camp for a home World Cup.

“The mood of the players and staff is fantastic. The opening match against Samoa in Newcastle is going to be a massive occasion and I know English Rugby League fans and the sporting public will get behind us.”

England World Cup squad: S Tomkins (Catalans, capt), A Ackers (Salford), J Batchelor, (St Helens), J Bateman (Wigan), T Burgess (South Sydney), M Cooper (WIgan), H Farnworth (Brisbane), R Hall (Hull KR), C Hill (Huddersfield), M Knowles (St Helens), M Lees (St Helens), T Makinson (St Helens), M McIlorum (Catalans), M McMeeken (Catalans), M Oledzki (Leeds), K Pearce-Paul (Wigan), V Radley (Sydney Roosters), M Sneyd (Salford), L Thompson (Canterbury Bulldogs), K Watkins (Salford), J Welsby (St Helens), E Whitehead (Canberra), G Williams (Warrington), D Young (Newcastle).