Sean O’Loughlin has been named to succeed Kevin Sinfield as England skipper, and will lead the side in the rugby league Four Nations series in Australasia.
Wigan’s Sean O’Loughlin will captain England in the 2014 Four Nations Series in Australia and New Zealand, the UK Rugby Football League has announced.
The 31-year-old Warriors captain, who will lead his club in the defence of their Super League title in next week’s Grand Final against arch-rivals St Helens, succeeds Kevin Sinfield as England skipper after the Leeds skipper announced his international retirement just over a month ago.
Wigan loose forward O’Loughlin will skipper a 24-man squad, with England opening their Four Nations campaign against Samoa in Brisbane on October 25.
Steve McNamara’s squad contains 13 survivors from last year’s Rugby League Cup, a tournament that ended for hosts England with a heart-breaking semi-final loss to New Zealand.
“We spent a long time selecting this squad and there were some close calls with a lot of competition for places,” said England coach McNamara in a RFL statement on Sunday.
“But ultimately we chose the players who will give us the best chance of winning a major tournament in Australasia for the first time since 1990, when Great Britain defeated New Zealand.
“We have a tremendous challenge in front of us but I know the players have the desire, appetite and quality to do English Rugby League proud in this tournament.”
The European-based players will leave England on October 14 en route to their pre-tournament camp on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
George Burgess (South Sydney/AUS), Tom Burgess (South Sydney/AUS), Joe Burgess (Wigan), Josh Charnley (Wigan) Daryl Clark (Castleford), Mike Cooper (St George Illawarra/AUS), Liam Farrell (Wigan), Brett Ferres (Huddersfield), James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs/AUS), Ryan Hall (Leeds), Zak Hardaker (Leeds), Chris Hill (Warrington), Josh Hodgson (Hull KR), Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan, capt), Stefan Ratchford (Warrington), Dan Sarginson (Wigan), Michael Shenton (Castleford), Matty Smith (Wigan), Joel Tomkins (Wigan), Sam Tomkins (New Zealand Warriors/NZL), Kallum Watkins (Leeds), Joe Westerman (Hull), Elliott Whitehead (Catalan Dragons/FRA), Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra/AUS).