Half-back Hal KR is likely to line up alongside Jonny Lomax against France on Saturday; Castleford full-back Niall Evalds is also preparing for his debut. Sam Tomkins is absent with a knee injury

Last update: 10/17/21 11:44 AM

Jordan Abdullah has been fantastic for Hal Crone this season

Jordan Abdullah has been fantastic for Hal Crone this season

Jordan Abdul, the full-back at South Korea’s Hull, is set to win his first England game in next Saturday’s Test against France in Perpignan.

The selection of the 25-year-old former Hull FC player and London Broncos into their 20-man squad is a bonus for a fantastic season with reaching the Premier League semi-finals, which also earned him a place on the Man of Steel shortlist.

As one of only two specialist quarterbacks on the team, Abdullah appears certain to line up alongside Jonny Lomax, one of five players from Champion St Helens.

Niall Evalds could get the nod to start the England full back

Niall Evalds could get the nod to start the England full back

It’s also possible that Castleford fullback Niall Evalds’ debut will be in the absence of Sam Tomkins – who, as expected, is ruled out due to the knee injury he fought in the Grand Final with the Catalans Dragons.

That means coach Sean Wayne will have to appoint a new captain in place of Tomkins, who captained England for the first time in a mid-season game against the United Nations All-Star Championship.

Other potential new matches include Leeds’ Harry Newman, who has fully recovered from a broken leg, and St Helens’ Matty Lees, who was in the England Knights side that beat Jamaica 56-4 in Castleford on Friday night.

Another knight, Captain Danny Walker, was also promoted in the absence of injured fellow Warrington Daryl Clark.

Coach Sean Wayne said his squad would be 'ready for England pride'

Coach Sean Wayne said his squad would be ‘ready for England pride’

“Things are always going to be a little bit fluid with the form and the injuries, but I’m more than happy to have the guys to get the job done,” Wayne said.

“Every player is on merit and they know what is expected of them. Every one is a credit to his club, they have adapted well in training, and brought a very positive mindset.

“There is no doubt that it will be difficult. The Catalan Dragons dominate the French team and their fans are fanatical.

“We’ll be working hard in training this week and we’ll be excited to go on match day. The players are ready for England’s pride.”

France’s new coach Laurent Freisinos must also find a new captain after losing Ben Garcia, Theo Vaggis and Julien Bousquet through injury, and he will announce his player when the team moves into camp on Tuesday.

England squad: J Abdullah (Hal KR), B Currie (Warrington), T Davis (Catalan), N Evalds (Castleford), J Bateman (Wigan), M Cooper (Warrington), El Farrell, Z Hardacre (both). Wigan), M. Knowles (St. Helens), K. Liming (Leeds), M. Lys, J. Lomax (both St. Helens), R. Lynn (Wakefield), Paul McShane (Castleford), T. Mackinson (St. Helens), H. Newman (Leeds) ) , Mother. Oldzky (Leeds), J. Philbin, Dee Walker (both Warrington), Alex Walmsley (St. Helens).

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