McNamara brings uncapped Welham into England squad


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Three players from the two Humberside clubs eliminated from the Super League play-offs last weekend have been added to the England squad preparing for this autumn's Four Nations.

Hull's Tom Briscoe and Kirk Yeaman are included, along with Hull KR's uncapped centre, Kris Welham. Other players will be added by the England coach, Steve McNamara, as their clubs are knocked out of the play-offs.

He has also named 11 members of the England Knights squad that will play France and Samoa next month. Humberside is again well represented, with Danny Houghton and Joe Westerman from Hull and the Rovers trio of Scott Taylor, Liam Watts and Jordan Cox.

There are two Salford players in the list – Matty Smith and the Warrington-bound Stefan Ratchford.

The Wigan coach, Michael Maguire, has imposed a media ban on his players as they prepare for Sunday's sudden-death play-off against the Catalan Dragons.

"It's an important week for us. We just want to make sure that our focus is completely on this game," said Maguire, who has fitness doubts about two of his forwards, Ryan Hoffman and Ben Cross.

Ryan Bailey will miss Leeds' play-off against Huddersfield on Friday with a one-match ban, but the Giants' Leroy Cudjoe is set to make a surprise return from a knee injury.

The Rugby League has received two applications from Wrexham-based clubs for next year, one in the Championship and one in Championship 1.

Terry Matterson, who is leaving Castleford after six years as their coach, has been appointed as assistant at the North Queensland Cowboys. The new Halifax coach, Karl Harrison, has signed a new pair of half-backs for next season, in Batley's Paul Handforth and Anthony Thackeray, who spent most of this year on loan from Widnes at York.