Rugby League World Cup: Ben Currie to make first England start against Lebanon


England lost to defending World Cup champions Australia for the 12th time in a row
Rugby League World Cup on the BBC
Venues: Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea
Dates: 27 October to 2 December
Coverage: Watch live coverage and highlights on BBC TV, Connected TV, online & the BBC Sport app and listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra.

Warrington’s Ben Currie replaces Sam Burgess in England’s starting line-up for their second match of the Rugby League World Cup against Lebanon.

Back-rower Burgess damaged medial knee ligaments during the first half of Friday’s 18-4 defeat by Australia.

Currie, 23, will make his first start for England on Saturday, with St Helens prop Alex Walmsley, 27, on the bench and set to make his England debut.

“Apart from Sam, everyone is fit and good to go,” said coach Wayne Bennett.

“Friday’s result was disappointing but the players have shown they wanted to get straight back into it and we had a great day in hot temperatures on Monday.”

The game in Sydney starts at 09:00 GMT on Saturday, with live coverage on BBC Two from 08:30.

Lebanon, the lowest ranked team in the tournament, gained a shock 29-18 victory over France, who England face in their final Group A game on 12 November.

The top three sides in the four-team group qualify for the quarter-finals.

Burgess was not expected to be available before the semi-finals on 24 and 25 November, but Bennett has said he expects him back “earlier than anticipated”.

Highlights: Australia beat England in World Cup opener

In Group B on Saturday, Scotland, thrashed 50-4 by Tonga in their opening match, face 2013 runners-up New Zealand (04:00 GMT).

Ireland and Wales both play their next games on Sunday, against Papua New Guinea and Fiji respectively.

The Irish are looking for their second win of the tournament after their 36-12 win over Italy, while Wales hope to recover after their 50-6 defeat by Papua New Guinea.

World Cup: Home nations heartache, nice moves & great shorts


England: Jonny Lomax, Jermaine McGillvary, Kallum Watkins, John Bateman, Ryan Hall, Gareth Widdop, Luke Gale, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, James Graham, Ben Currie, Elliot Whitehead, Sean O’Loughlin.

Interchanges: Alex Walmsley, Chris Heighington, Thomas Burgess, James Roby.

Extended interchanges: George Williams, Mike McMeeken, Mark Percival, Stefan Ratchford

Lebanon: Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Travis Robinson, Bilal Maarbani, Adam Doueihi, Abbas Miski, Mitchell Moses, Robbie Farah, Tim Mannah, Michael Lichaa, Alex Twal, Chris Saab, Ahmad Ellaz, Nick Kassis.

Interchanges: Mitchell Mamary, Ray Moujalli, Jamie Clark, Jason Wehbe.

Extended interchanges: Elias Sukkar, Anthony Layoun, Andrew Kazzi, James Elias.

You can follow the fortunes of your favourite team with live match notifications sent straight to your phone or tablet via the BBC Sport app. Line-up, kick-off, score, half-time and full-time options are available for all teams participating at the World Cup.


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