Date: Saturday, October 25, 2014
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 4pm (Local Time)
England: 1 Sam Tomkins 2 Josh Charnley 3 Kallum Watkins 4 Michael Shenton 5 Ryan Hall 6 Gareth Widdop 7 Matty Smith 8 George Burgess
9 Josh Hodgson 10 James Graham (c) 11 Liam Farrell 12 Joel Tomkins 13 Joe Westerman Interchange 14 Daryl Clark 15 Brett Ferres
16 Tom Burgess 17 Chris Hill
Samoa: 1 Tim Simona 2 Antonio Winterstein 3 Ricky Leutele 4 Joey Leilua 5 Daniel Vidot 6 Ben Roberts 7 Kyle Stanley 8 Sam Tagataese
9 Michael Sio 10 David Fa’alogo 11 Frank Pritchard 12 Leeson Ah Mau 13 Josh McGuire Interchange 14 Pita Godinet 15 Jesse Sene-Lefao
16 Isaac Liu 17 Mose Masoe 18 Dunamis Lui
England: RLWC 2013 SF vs New Zealand L 20-18, RLWC 2013 QF vs France W 34-6 RLWC 2013 vs Fiji W 34-12 RLWC 2013 vs Ireland W 42-0 RLWC 2013 vs Australia L 28-20
Samoa: Pacific Rugby League Test vs Fiji W 32-16, RLWC 2013 QF vs Fiji L 22-4, RLWC 2013 vs France L 22-6, RLWC 2013 vs Papua New Guinea W 38-4, RLWC 2013 vs New Zealand L 42-24
Despite the loss of Sam Burgess, England will head into their opening 2014 4 Nations match against Samoa as clear favourites.
They boast a world class fullback in Sam Tomkins, a terrific five eighth in Gareth Widdop and a rising star in George Burgess alongside James Graham in the front row. The Samoan side is full of talent but lacks the class of the English side. An untried halves pairing of Ben Roberts and Kyle Stanley will have plenty of pressure on their shoulders to deliver, and none of their forward pack was a regular started in 2014.
Having said that, they are a team that can cause an upset and have performed well on the big stage before, reaching the quarter finals of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. If their big forward pack can match it with their rivals, then they have exciting finishers out, in the likes of Daniel Vidot, and Antonio Winterstein.
Expect plenty of fireworks in the opening exchanges, but when both teams settle down, England has a more reliable line up, one capable of delivering the goods. The Samoan team is talented, but their are a lot of questions surrounding their ability to put in a solid 80-minute performance.
Previous Meetings This Season
The last time these two sides met was way back in 2006 in the inaugural Federation Shield. Englan cruised to a 38-14 victory on the back of three tries to centre Ryan Atkins.
England by 18