DEwsbury star Sam Burgess has given England’s World Cup hopes a boost after discovering the injury he sustained in the opening game against Australia is not as bad as first feared.
Burgess suffered medial ligament damage during England’s 18-4 defeat to Australia in last Friday’s group game.
Burgess will miss Saturday’s second match against Lebanon in Sydney but is expected to be fit for the latter stages of the tournament.
England head coach Wayne Bennett said: “It was a blow to lose Sam so early in the game against Australia, but the team coped and competed against the number one side in the competition.
“He’ll be a loss, but we expect to see him back soon and pushing for a place in the squad as we aim to make the quarter and semi-finals.
“Sam’s a tough player and he will be doing everything required of him to get fit again.
“We’ve got a good team here and everyone is behind each other, on and off the field.”
Dewsbury-born St Helens second rower Alex Walmsley is set to make his England debut against Lebanon after a virus ruled him out of the World Cup opener with Australia last week.
Dewsbury’s Thomas Burgess is also in the squad to face Lebanon, joining Walmsley on the substitutes bench, while England’s final group game is against France on Sunday November 12.