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England vs Tonga: George Williams back as Shaun Wane makes changes for final Test of series in Leeds

George Williams takes place of Mikey Lewis in England's 19-player squad for third and final match of the series against Tonga; Shaun Wane's side are aiming to seal a 3-0 series sweep at AMT Headingley, with England Women facing Wales earlier in the day

Image: George Williams returns to captain England against Tonga in the third Test

England captain George Williams is back for the final Test of the series against Tonga as head coach Shaun Wane shuffles his pack for the clash in Leeds.

Williams missed the first two matches of the series due to suspension, but the Warrington Wolves half-back has now completed that and takes the place of Mikey Lewis, who was named player of the match in the first Test, in the 19-player squad.

The 29-year-old's inclusion, which sees Jack Welsby relinquish the captaincy, is one of several changes Wane has made to his initial squad for the third Test as England seek to complete a 3-0 sweep of Tonga.

"It's great to be able to welcome George back into the fold as England captain," Wane said ahead of the match, which serves as the second part of a double-header at Headingley where England Women face Wales as well.

"Mikey (Lewis) has been brilliant in the opening two games, but I had always said George would come back in once his suspension was served.

"I'm really confident that the squad I've selected can get the job done and finish the series in style in front of a packed house in Leeds."

Other changes see Morgan Smithies and Josh Thewlis go straight into the squad for the match after being called up by Wane on Tuesday. Forwards Tyler Dupree and Robbie Mulhern come into the 19 for the first time in this series as well.

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Picture by Allan McKenzie/ - 09/09/2023 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 25 - Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors - Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England - Wigan's Morgan Smithies.
Image: Morgan Smithies goes straight into England's 19-player squad after his midweek call-up

Meanwhile, Ben Currie is set for his first appearance of the end-of-year internationals at Headingley too after being 18th player in last Saturday's series-clinching 14-4 win in Huddersfield.

England will be without loose forward Victor Radley after he suffered a groin strain, while winger Tommy Makinson remains sidelined with a wrist injury and centre Toby King is out with an ankle injury.

"I'm really pleased to be able to give everyone who was named in my original squad the opportunity to feature in this series," Wane said.

"Robbie, Tyler and Ben have all had impressive seasons at club level and deserve their call-up into the side for this final game against Tonga."

England 19-player squad to face Tonga

Matty Ashton (Warrington Wolves), John Bateman (Wests Tigers), Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Daryl Clark, Ben Currie (both Warrington Wolves), Tyler Dupree (Wigan Warriors), Chris Hill (Huddersfield Giants), Tom Johnstone (Catalans Dragons), Matty Lees (St Helens), Mike McMeeken (Catalans Dragons), Robbie Mulhern (Leigh Leopards), Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos), Harry Smith, Morgan Smithies (both Wigan Warriors), Josh Thewlis, Danny Walker (both Warrington Wolves), Jack Welsby (St Helens), Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders), George Williams (Warrington Wolves).

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