Saints expected to face Pacific test

Mark Percival is expected to be involved in England's clash with Samoa
Mark Percival is expected to be involved in England's clash with Samoa

Saints are expected to have a number of players involved in England’s clash with Samoa which, for the first time, will headline the 2017 edition of the Pacific Test - an International Rugby League triple-header at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, New South Wales, Australia,on Saturday, May 6.

Jonny Lomax, Kyle Amor, Jonny Lomax, James Roby, Mark Percival and Matty Smith (if fit), who are already in the international elite training squad preparing for the end of year World Cup Down Under, will be hoping for a call-up along with former team-mate Joe Greenwood.

In an action-packed Saturday that features some of the best Rugby League talent from across the globe, Papua New Guinea take on the skill and power of the Cook Islands, before traditional rivals Fiji and Tonga battle it out for Pacific ascendancy in the penultimate match of the day.

England’s last encounter with Samoa was the opening game of the 2014 Four Nations in front of 47,813 spectators at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

The Wall of White won 32-26 that day but England head coach Wayne Bennett is expecting another physical game in Campbelltown.

On the national squad’s plans, head coach Wayne Bennett said: “What we have put in place for the players is a programme that will enable them to spend required time together in an international environment.

“Our selection includes a mixture of the England-based players from last year’s squad, returning names who have previously been in the programme and some new faces who have been performing in Super League.

“There’s a lot of talented and committed individuals in this group who are well aware that success in a World Cup tournament doesn’t come easy. Preparation is key and we need everyone to be fully focused throughout the year.”