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Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 10:57 UK

Purdham earns World Cup call-up


'England squad pick tough' - Smith

Harlequins forward Rob Purdham has been named in England's 24-man squad for the World Cup in Australia.

"It's a lifetime dream for me to represent my country, especially in a World Cup," he told Radio 5 Live.

Between them, Grand Finalists Leeds and St Helens provide 15 players, but there is no place in coach Tony Smith's squad for Wigan prop Stuart Fielden.

Wingers Mark Calderwood and Lee Smith, plus Bradford duo Jamie Langley and Paul Sykes are included.

England are in a group of four teams, along with hosts and holders Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Smith's decision to take just four specialist props - captain Jamie Peacock, Adrian Morley, James Graham and Maurie Fa'asavalu - has caused some surprise.

But he countered his critics by saying whoever was selected was inherently a gamble.

"If you take five front rowers, that's over a fifth of your squad so that would be a gamble too," he said.

"There's got to be a certain amount of versatility and there are some players who play in the back row that I wouldn't hesitate in pushing forward to the front row. There's a gamble whichever way you go."


He also hinted that Fielden was on his stand-by list.

"There is the ability to replace injured players and we have a few on standby for each position," he said.

Wigan's Gareth Hock is included, as are two players who have just left the JJB Stadium, Calderwood and hooker Mickey Higham.

Calderwood displaces Hull KR winger Peter Fox, who is the only player dropped from the England side that beat France 56-8 in June.

Fox's club team-mate Shaun Briscoe has also been dropped from the train-on squad.

Smith's side open up against PNG in Townsville on 25 October, with games against Australia (2 November) and New Zealand (8 November) to follow.

The top three sides make it through to the semi-finals.

England will warm up for the World Cup with a game against Wales at Doncaster's Keepmoat Stadium on Friday.

England: Keith Senior, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, Jamie Peacock (captain), Gareth Ellis, Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Lee Smith (all Leeds), Paul Wellens, Ade Gardner, Leon Pryce, James Graham, James Roby, Maurie Fa'asavalu, Jon Wilkin (all St Helens), Rob Purdham (Harlequins), Mark Calderwood, Mickey Higham, Gareth Hock (all Wigan), Martin Gleeson, Adrian Morley, Ben Westwood (all Warrington), Jamie Langley, Paul Sykes (both Bradford).

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see also
World Cup relief for Calderwood
07 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
England train-on squad in photos
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Rugby League World Cup squads
07 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Cassidy included in Ireland squad
07 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Calderwood receives England call
29 Sep 08 |  Rugby League
Smith to spring a surprise?
28 Sep 08 |  Rugby League

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