Uncapped Sneyd and Ackers in line for England Rugby League World Cup call

The Salford Red Devils duo of Marc Sneyd and Andy Ackers are in line to win their first England call-ups for next month’s Rugby League World Cup.

The pair, who were instrumental in guiding the Red Devils to the Super League playoffs this season, are set to be named in Shaun Wane’s 24-man squad for the tournament, which will be revealed on Friday morning.

Sneyd has been one of the standout half-backs in Super League for a number of years, helping Hull FC win two Challenge Cups in 2016 and 2017. However, his move to Salford this year has coincided with perhaps the best form of his career, and that form has now been recognised by Wane.

Ackers is the surprise package in the squad. The hooker, who began his career with semi-professional club Swinton, was considered way down the pecking order of English hookers a few months ago. But he was magnificent in Salford’s late end-of-season charge that put them within a game of the Grand Final, before losing to eventual champions, St Helens.

The pair will be included in England’s squad barring any late dramas and they could make their international debuts next Friday in England’s only warm-up game for the tournament, against Fiji. England kick off the World Cup against Samoa at Newcastle’s St James’ Park on 15 October.

One player who will not be included is the St Helens half-back Jonny Lomax. The 32-year-old has withdrawn after opting to rehab a ruptured biceps suffered in May.

Lomax played the remainder of the Super League season, helping Saints win a fourth consecutive league title, but he has informed Wane he is not available for the World Cup, leaving the England coach without a player who would have been a guaranteed starter if fit.