England call up Smyth

Rugby League
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Rob Smyth, the Wigan winger, will celebrate his 19th birthday in Fiji after being selected to England's squad for the inaugural Super League Nines.

Smyth is one of six Wigan players freed to play for England in the ambitious tournament by their club's Challenge Cup defeat by Salford. The side will be captained by a former Wigan player, Denis Betts, who is now with the Auckland Warriors.

"We believe that we have chosen a side that is not only capable of doing well in the World Nines competition, but capable of winning it," said the England manager, Phil Lowe.

Wales have called up two Keighley players, Jason Critchley and Gareth Cochrane, as well as Widnes' reserve hooker, John Donno, to fill the gaps in their squad.

Scotland's George Fairbairn has named eight professionals, including Workington's Billy McGinty, in his squad for the tournament, which runs from 22 to 24 February and involves sides from 16 countries.

Bradford's new signing, James Lowes, is in Ireland's party for the event.

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