JON Wilkin will captain England in Wednesday’s origin international against the Exiles at Huddersfield.
Wilkin, 28, will take over the role from Jamie Peacock, who last week announced his retirement from international rugby league with immediate effect.
He was left out of the team for the opening game but is one of six changes made by coach Steve McNamara for the return game at the Galpharm Stadium.
McNamara today confirmed debuts for Warrington utility back Stefan Ratchford while Danny Brough (Huddersfield) and Matty Smith (Salford) will form a new-look half-back partnership, with forwards Scott Taylor (Hull KR) and Liam Farrell (Wigan) on the bench.
They will line up alongside nine survivors of the team that won 18-10 in the opening game at Langtree Park.
“We have a young, hungry side,” said McNamara. “We have made a number of changes from the first game and it is an exciting opportunity to see some real quality young players coming in and staking a claim for a regular place in the side.”
McNamara is also looking forward to see how Brough and Smith cut it at this level forming a new half-back combination.
“Matty and Danny really excite me,” he added. “They have been in tremendous form in the Stobart Super League and I know they have the ability to step up and perform at this level.
“They will complement each other’s skills and can form a devastating partnership.”