England v New Zealand: Wigan's George Williams ruled out with injury

Wigan's George Williams

England v New Zealand
Date: Saturday, 23 June Venue: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado Kick-off: 21.10 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Radio 5 live and live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.

Wigan stand-off George Williams has been ruled out of England’s mid-season match against New Zealand in Denver on Saturday.

The 23-year-old suffered a knee injury in his side’s Super League win over Hull FC on Saturday.

He still travelled to Denver in the hope of being fit, but was ruled out by England’s medical staff.

Williams will remain in camp to receive treatment but he will not be replaced in the squad.

The loss of Williams leaves England without three of their half-back options used in the 2017 World Cup.

Warrington’s Kevin Brown has retired and his partner for December’s World Cup final against Australia, Castleford’s reigning Man of Steel Luke Gale, is sidelined with a broken kneecap.

It means coach Wayne Bennett is almost certain to select St George Illawarra’s Gareth Widdop and Jonny Lomax from St Helens as his half-backs against the Kiwis with Warrington’s Stefan Ratchford at full-back.

However, it leaves him without any obvious cover for James Roby after he opted to take only one specialist hooker with him to the States.

Williams’ withdrawal is the second from Bennett’s 19-man squad after South Sydney prop George Burgess was ruled out after picking up a quadricep injury at the weekend with Hull FC’s Scott Taylor called up as a replacement.

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BBC Sport – Rugby League

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