Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins named in England’s elite performance squad

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Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins is back from the international wilderness after being named in England coach Wayne Bennett’s latest elite performance squad.

Tomkins, who counts 17 tries in 23 appearances for his country, has not played for England since the 2014 Four Nations Series, initially because of a series of injuries and subsequently a loss of form.

But he never gave up hope of returning to the international scene and has been a model of consistency for his club this season, playing in all but two of their 24 league and cup matches.

There is also a recall for Warrington prop Mike Cooper, while Castleford loose forward Adam Milner is the one new faces in Bennett’s 25-man squad of Super League-based players chosen to prepare for the Test against France on October 17 and the three-match series against New Zealand which follows.

Bennett has predictably kept faith with the team that beat the Kiwis 36-18 in Denver in June but has also demonstrated loyalty by including long-term injury victims Kallum Watkins, Ben Currie, Alex Walmsley and Luke Gale.

Hull utility back Jake Connor is also named, despite being ruled out for the rest of the domestic season with a torn hamstring.

Wakefield v Castleford Tigers – Betfred Super League – Belle Vue
Castleford forward Adam Milner has been called up by England (Simon Cooper/PA)

Wakefield winger Tom Johnstone and St Helens prop Luke Thompson, who was 18th man in Denver, will be both hoping for big finishes to the season with their clubs to earn their first caps.

There is no recall for Warrington’s former Wigan winger Josh Charnley, who has also been ignored for the England Knights.

England v Australia – Four Nations – London Stadium
Warrington prop Mike Cooper has earned an England recall (Nigel French/PA)

The other newcomers are Leeds duo Ash Handley and Mikolaj Oledzki, Wakefield pair Max Jowitt and James Batchelor, Matty Lees (St Helens), Joe Greenwood (Wigan), Harvey Livett (Warrington), Brad Fash (Hull) and Robbie Mulhern (Hull KR).

England elite performance squad: L Gale, M McMeeken, A Milner (all Castleford), J McGillvary (Huddersfield), J Connor, S Taylor (both Hull), R Hall, S Ward, K Watkins (both Leeds), J Lomax, T Makinson, M Percival, J Roby, L Thompson, A Walmsley (all St Helens),T Johnstone (Wakefield), D Clark, M Cooper, B Currie, C Hill, S Ratchford (all Warrington), J Bateman, S O’Loughlin, S Tomkins, G Williams (all Wigan).

England Knights performance squad: G Minikin, J Trueman, O Holmes (all Castleford), K Leeming (Huddersfield), B Fash, D Hadley, M Matongo, J Shaul (all Hull), C Atkin, R Mulhern (both Hull KR), A Handley, M Oledzski, L Sutcliffe, J Walker (all Leeds), J Cunningham (London Broncos), N Evalds (Salford), T Davies, O Gildart, J Greenwood, S Powell, R Sutton (all Wigan), M Lees, D Richardson (both St Helens), J Batchelor, M Jowitt, R Lyne (all Wakefield), J Hughes, H Livett (both Warrington), T Gilmore, D Walker, M Whitley (all Widnes).

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