Great Britain: Sam Burgess, Kallum Watkins & Stevie Ward to miss tour with injuries

Sam Burgess
Sam Burgess aggravated a shoulder injury at the end of the NRL season in Australia

England forward Sam Burgess will miss Great Britain's tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea later this month with a shoulder injury.

Burgess, 30, will need surgery after aggravating the problem while playing for South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL play-offs in September.

Leeds' Stevie Ward (hamstring) and ex-Rhinos centre Kallum Watkins (rib) have also been ruled out of the tour.

Great Britain will play four games in their first series for 12 years.

Wayne Bennett's side will take on New Zealand in two Tests, sandwiched by matches against Tonga and Papua New Guinea.

Burgess, who captained England in their 2017 World Cup final defeat by Australia, appeared for Great Britain against the Kiwis in 2007.

Rugby Football League rugby director Kevin Sinfield, who has chaired the Great Britain selection panel, said: "It's disappointing to lose players, and they are all gutted to be out of contention for the tour.

"The reaction we've had from all players is overwhelmingly positive about the return of GB, and that was the case for Kallum, Stevie and especially Sam, as he's one of the few guys in contention to have played for Great Britain previously.

"But injuries happen, they test your strength in depth, and they provide opportunities to others."

A 24-man squad will be named on Monday, 14 October, 12 days before the opening match of the tour against Tonga.

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