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England name Sam Burgess as new captain

Sam Burgess is the new captain. Credit: PA

Sam Burgess has been appointed as the new captain of England, head coach Wayne Bennett has announced.

The announcement was made by new England head coach Wayne Bennett at a press conference at the team's hotel in London.

The 27-year-old South Sydney forward has been chosen, ahead of former St Helens prop James Graham, as the successor to Wigan loose forward Sean O'Loughlin, who was last week ruled out of the Ladbrokes Four Nations Series through injury.

"Sam will be our captain," Bennett said. "He leads from the front."


Sinfield to call time on glittering 20-year rugby career

Kevin Sinfield has announced that he will retire from all forms of rugby at the end of the current rugby union season in May.

The former Leeds and England rugby league captain, who turns 36 in September, switched codes with the Rhinos' sister club Yorkshire Carnegie last November and had another 12 months left on his contract.

However, Sinfield announced at a press conference at Headingley on Wednesday his intention to hang up his boots after receiving several job offers.

Sinfield is hanging up his boots. Credit: PA

Sinfield said: "I have been privileged and deeply honoured to have enjoyed a 20-year career as a professional rugby player and to retire on my own terms rather than through injury is something I feel lucky to be able to do.

"I have always said that some day I will need to get a proper job and that day has now come.

"A number of opportunities have become available to me for life after rugby and I need to make the right decision for me and my family.

"However, before then we have got hopefully four massive games ahead of us, starting this Sunday against a very good Doncaster side at Headingley Carnegie."

In his glittering 19-season professional career in rugby league, Sinfield led Leeds to seven Grand Final victories, back-to-back Challenge Cup triumphs and three World Club Challenge successes.

He was awarded an MBE in the 2014 Queens' Birthday Honours and was runner-up to Andy Murray in the BBC Sports Personality Awards last December.

Anfield lined up to host 2016 Four Nations final

Anfield is being lined up to host the final of the 2016 Four Nations Series.

The Rugby Football League says dates and venues are still being finalised but a spokesman confirmed to Press Association Sport that the home of Liverpool FC is in the reckoning.

The RFL are keen to try out new venues. Credit: PA

"We can confirm Anfield is one of the venues being considered for the Four Nations Series but nothing has been finalised," the spokesman said.

The RFL are keen to try out new venues after being encouraged by the crowd of 44,393 at London's Olympic Stadium for last November's Test match between England and Australia, although Anfield has staged rugby league in the past.

It was the venue for the World Club Challenge in 1991 when a crowd of 20,152 turned out for a Tuesday night game between Wigan and Penrith while St Helens were pleased with an attendance of 12,329 for a league game against Castleford in 1997.

It is thought Anfield could host the Four Nations final on Saturday, November 19.

Coventry's Ricoh Arena is expected to host a double header, featuring England against Scotland and Australia against New Zealand, while England are set to return to the Olympic Stadium for the big clash with the Kangaroos.

Huddersfield, Hull KR and Workington are other venues thought to be under consideration, with organisers dropping their initial plans to take a game to Scotland.

Burgess released from hospital and cleared of injury

Burgess was cleared of any serious injury. Credit: PA

England forward Sam Burgess has been released from hospital after being cleared of serious injury.

The 27-year-old dual-code international spent two nights in St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney after hurting his neck during South Sydney's NRL clash with St George Illawarra at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.

The Rabbitohs say MRI and CT scans have shown there is no damage to the vertebrae or spinal cord and Burgess, who was allowed home on Tuesday afternoon, is expected to make a full recovery.

The club say they will continue to monitor the former Bradford prop for any muscle or neurological issues and no time frame has yet been set for his return, but he will sit out the Good Friday game against Canterbury Bulldogs.


Sam Burgess in hospital with neck injury

Sam Burgess. Credit: PA

England rugby league star Sam Burgess is undergoing hospital scans after suffering a neck injury whilst playing for his club in Australia.

The 27-year-old was involved in an accidental clash of heads with another Englishman, former Warrington prop Mike Cooper, in the 58th minute of South Sydney's round three NRL clash with St George Illawarra.

Burgess, who was playing only his third game back following his nine-month stint in rugby union with Bath and England, lowered his head as he ran into a wall of Dragons defenders and, upon impact, immediately fell to the ground.

Burgess lay prone on the turf for several minutes as he was treated by medical personnel before being carried off on a stretcher and rushed to the nearby St Vincent's Hospital.

The Rabbitohs were trailing 8-6 at the time and no more points were scored following the incident.

Sam Burgess shines on rugby league comeback

Sam Burgess. Credit: PA

Sam Burgess celebrated his return to rugby league with a try and a man-of-the-match performance in South Sydney's 22-20 win over Gold Coast Titans in a pre-season friendly on Australia's Gold Coast.

The former Bradford forward has rejoined the Rabbitohs after an abortive spell in rugby union with Bath and England and it was if he had never been away.

The Sydney club's 2014 grand final hero capped an impressive return with a 55th-minute solo try, although he was quick to play down his contribution.

"I just sat and listened to the press conference with (captain) Greg (Inglis) and Madge (coach Michael Maguire)," Burgess told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Every second question was about me.

"I don't want to say anything wrong but it's probably a little bit unfair to the team.

"It's not about me. I've come back to play at Souths but I think we need to chill out a bit. I've said before, I'm a small part of a big team and here to do my job like everyone else."

England appoint Bennett as new head coach

Wayne Bennett is the new head coach. Credit: PA

Australian Wayne Bennett has been appointed as England's new head coach on a two-year contract, the Rugby Football League has announced.

The most successful Australian rugby league coach in history has agreed a two-year deal with the Rugby Football League that will see him take charge of the England team through the 2016 Four Nations Series and the 2017 World Cup.

Wayne is quite rightly regarded as the outstanding coach of his generation and I am delighted that we have been able to secure his services.

This England team has made considerable progress over the last few years and we now possess truly world class players across all positions. These players deserve the very best support and coaching as we attempt to move from contenders into potential winners of international tournaments.

I believe that Wayne Bennett is undoubtedly the right man to lead this group forward and enable them to do this.

– RFL chief executive Nigel Wood
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