Stevie Ward called into England squad for injured Brett Ferres
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 18/10/16 4:37pm
Leeds forward Stevie Ward could make his England debut against France after being called up to replace the injured Brett Ferres.
Second row Ward, 22, missed the first seven months of the season after picking up a serious knee injury in the last match of the regular season in 2015 but played in the last four matches of the Super 8s Qualifiers.
Ward, who was among the 31-strong group of Super League-based players invited to a get-together under new England coach Wayne Bennett in June, did not make his initial 24-man squad but has now been brought in and is set to make his debut against France in Avignon on Saturday.
Ward joined up with the rest of the squad in London after Ferres was ruled out with a calf injury sustained during training.
The 30-year-old Ferres, who was an ever-present when England beat New Zealand last year, will now return to Yorkshire to be assessed by his club's medical team in order to plan his treatment and recovery.
"Brett is a key member of the senior squad and he's hugely disappointed to be missing out," said Bennett.
"He had been working hard with the train-on squad and has continued to do so in our camp. Unfortunately, he suffered this injury in training which meant he will not be able to train effectively for a few weeks.
"Just like all the other players, I know he was looking forward to the challenge ahead with England.
"Myself and all the England team wish Brett all the best with his recovery and look forward to seeing him in action next season."