World Cup: England will play full squad in warm-up against Affiliated States

Sam Burgess and his England rugby league team-mates in training
Sam Burgess (centre) is among the NRL-based players in Wayne Bennett's England squad
Rugby League World Cup
Venues: Australia, New Zealand &Papua New Guinea; Dates: 27 October - 2 December
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England coach Wayne Bennett will give his full 24-man squad a run-out in their only World Cup warm-up game against Affiliated States on Friday.

England, who have been training in Western Australia, face Australia in the opening game of the tournament in Melbourne on 27 October.

The warm-up match at Perth Oval (11:45 BST) will be split into four 20-minute quarters with unlimited interchanges.

"We've had a great week in Perth preparing," Bennett said.

"This game is a perfect opportunity to go through everything we have been working on this week."

The Affiliated States squad are made up of players from Western Australia, South Australia, Victorian and the Northern Territories.

England's NRL representatives - Chris Heighington, Sam and Thomas Burgess, James Graham, Gareth Widdop and Josh Hodgson - last played in early September.

The Super League season in England ended in late September, although nine players featured in the end-of-season play-offs which finished this month.

Sam Burgess and James Graham
Key forwards such as Sam Burgess and James Graham have had an extended rest period since the end of the NRL season

"This squad knows what's ahead of them and they're working hard," said Australian Bennett.

"A number of players haven't played for a few weeks so I'll be looking to get some bodies out there and give them some much-needed game time.

"Half of our opposition's squad are from the state of Western Australia, who have been very successful in the Affiliated States Championship for many years, so we're expecting a competitive match."

The Affiliated States squad features former South Sydney Rabbitohs and St George Illawarra back-rower Jarrod Thompson, ex-Manly full-back Jake Busby, and Scott Jones, who played youth grade football for New Zealand Warriors and was on trial at Canberra Raiders.

England squad: John Bateman, Kevin Brown, Sam Burgess, Thomas Burgess, Ben Currie, Luke Gale, James Graham, Ryan Hall, Chris Heighington, Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson, Jonny Lomax, Jermaine McGillvary, Mike McMeeken, Sean O'Loughlin, Mark Percival, Stefan Ratchford, James Roby, Scott Taylor, Alex Walmsley, Kallum Watkins, Elliott Whitehead, Gareth Widdop, George Williams.

Combined Affiliated States squad: Stephen Widders, Jordan Jacob, Tusiga Losi, Ben Taylor, Arana Masoe, Delane Edwards, Brandon Purcell, Benjamin Bolth, Andrew Jeffrey, Paul Jennings, Brandon Taua'a, Bradley Gibson, Jarrod Thompson, Terry Constantinou, Scott Jones, Gillespie Fai, Tere Kaue, Jerome Edwards, Tiaan Wilkins, Jake Busby.

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