Rugby League World Cup: Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival excluded from England squad

Jonny Lomax from St Helens and England
Jonny Lomax helped St Helens to a fourth consecutive Super League Grand Final win on Saturday
Host: England Dates: 15 October to 19 November
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St Helens duo Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival have been left out of England’s 24-man World Cup squad due to injury concerns.

Lomax, man of the match against Leeds at Old Trafford, has been playing with a biceps injury since April.

Herbie Farnworth and Kallum Watkins will feature when head coach Shaun Wane confirms his full squad on Friday.

World Cup hosts England kick off their campaign in the delayed 2021 tournament against Samoa on Saturday 15 October.

Wane already was unable to name St. Helen’s prop Alex Walmsley in his squad due to a foot injury that kept him out of the home stretch and he will now be without two more players who have helped the Saints to an unprecedented four consecutive Grand Final victories.

However, the inclusion of uncapped Brisbane Broncos center Farnworth, 22, provides some positive injury news for England.

Farnworth scored 10 tries in 12 appearances in the opening weeks of the NRL season for his Australian club side but has not played since June after suffering a biceps injury.

The Lancashire-born center spent time as a schoolboy at Manchester United before focusing on rugby league and moving to Australia as a teenager.

Salford’s Watkins, who can play at center or in the second row, was part of the England team that finished runners-up to Australia under former coach Wayne Bennett in 2017.

After opening the World Cup against Samoa at Newcastle’s St James Park, England will play further group games against France and debutants Greece.

They will play Fiji, semi-finalists in each of the last three World Cups, in a warm-up match on Friday 7 October in Salford.

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