Australian-born Chris McQueen included in England's squad for mid-season friendly with Samoa

Coach Wayne Bennett has handed the 29-year-old Wests Tigers back-rower his first call-up ahead of the one-off Test in Sydney on Saturday May 6

Ben Burrows
Monday 24 April 2017 12:22
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Chris McQueen is the headline inclusion in Wayne Bennett's squad to face Samoa next month
Chris McQueen is the headline inclusion in Wayne Bennett's squad to face Samoa next month

Australian-born forward Chris McQueen is the surprise name in England's 20-man squad for the mid-season international against Samoa.

Coach Wayne Bennett has handed the 29-year-old Wests Tigers back-rower his first call-up ahead of the one-off Test in Sydney on Saturday May 6.

Former South Sydney and Gold Coast Titans star McQueen's selection is something of a controversial choice having represented Queensland six times in State of Origin but qualifies for England through his father.

The move has echoes of Ben Te'o's call-up to this summer's British and Irish Lions' tour of his native New Zealand.

McQueen was approached to play for England in the 2013 World Cup but rejected it in the hope of winning Origin honours and he went on to play in six consecutive matches for the Maroons from 2013-14 and make a second appearance for an Australian Prime Minister's XIII against Papua New Guinea.

McQueen was the surprise name in Wayne Bennett's 20-man squad 

There is also a recall for another Australia-born forward, Chris Heighington, who was last selected under Steve McNamara in 2011, while Wigan loose forward Sean O'Loughlin returns to the squad as captain after missing the 2016 Four Nations tournament through injury.

Full squad:

S Burgess (South Sydney), T Burgess (South Sydney), L Gale (Castleford), J Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs), R Hall (Leeds), Z Hardaker (Castleford), C Heighington (Cronulla), C Hill (Warrington), J Hodgson (Canberra), J McGillvary (Huddersfield), M McMeeken (Castleford), C McQueen (Gold Coast), S O'Loughlin (Wigan, capt), M Percival (St Helens), S Taylor (Hull), A Walmsley (St Helens), K Watkins (Leeds), E Whitehead (Canberra), G Widdop (St George Illawarra), G Williams (Wigan).

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