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Super League: Try of the Week – Johnstone’s Wakefield ‘flyer’
England v New Zealand Test series on the BBC
Venues: KCOM Stadium, Hull; Anfield, Liverpool; Elland Road, Leeds
Dates: 27 October to 11 November
Coverage: Watch live coverage and highlights on BBC TV, Connected TV, online & the BBC Sport app and listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

Wakefield Trinity winger Tom Johnstone and centre Reece Lyne are among five newcomers called up for England’s autumn Test series against New Zealand.

St Helens prop Luke Thompson, Wigan back-rower Joe Greenwood and Castleford lock Adam Milner are also uncapped.

Although injury rules out St George Illawarra half-back Gareth Widdop, there is a strong NRL contingent including Sam, Tom and George Burgess.

England begin the series against the Kiwis in Hull on 27 October.

Johnstone’s 24 tries for Trinity this season helped earn him a place in the Super League Dream Team, along with fellow call-ups John Bateman, Sean O’Loughlin, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival and Thompson.

England’s autumn internationals, which also include a friendly against France in Leigh on 17 October, are the first since the mid-season Test against the Kiwis in Denver, in which Hull FC back Jake Connor and the Saints pair of Tommy Makinson and Mark Percival impressed.

Injuries to Widdop, Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall, Ben Currie, Alex Walmsley and James Roby rule them out from the team which lost to Australia in the 2017 World Cup final, while Kevin Brown has retired from the international game.

“The England team have an attractive and important series of matches this autumn, and the players are relishing the prospect of representing their country in front of home crowds again,” said head coach Wayne Bennett.

“It’s important that we build on the positive work of the last couple of years, including last year’s World Cup and the Denver Test, against what we’d expect to be the usual stern challenge from the Kiwis.”

Reece Lyne signed a new contract with Wakefield in August to run until 2023

Analysis

Dave Woods, BBC Rugby League correspondent

This upcoming series will test England’s strength in depth with seven players from last year’s World Cup final either injured or in Kevin Brown’s case, retired from international football.

Of the five potential debutants, the two real eyecatchers are Wakefield winger Tom Johnstone and centre Reece Lyne.

Johnstone has looked like a future England star for some time and he should get a chance in the absence of the injured Ryan Hall, though Josh Charnley can consider himself unlucky after his impressive return to the league fold with Warrington this year.

The one position in which England really struggles for real depth is centre, so Lyne has a chance to make a name for himself.

Wigan’s Catalans-bound Sam Tomkins could be set for a recall for the first time in four years. He and Warrington’s Stefan Ratchford will battle it out for the full-back role.

Of those that miss out, props Mike Cooper of Warrington and Hull’s Scott Taylor, and Castleford hooker Paul McShane, should be disappointed.

England squad: Bateman, Greenwood, O’Loughlin, S. Tomkins, Williams (Wigan), G Burgess, S Burgess, T Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Clark, Hill, Ratchford (Warrington), Connor (Hull FC), Gale, Milner (Castleford) Graham (St George Illawarra), Hodgson, Whitehead (Canberra), Johnstone, Lyne (Wakefield), Lomax, Makinson, Percival, Thompson (St Helens), McGillvary (Huddersfield)

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