2017 Rugby League World Cup - England vs Lebanon Preview

The Lowdown


  • England fell to defeat against Australia in their World Cup opener last week. They were in the game for long periods but couldn't quite do enough to claim the win.
  • Wayne Bennett makes just one change to his 17-man squad with Alex Walmsley replacing the injured Sam Burgess. Ben Currie retains his place after being a late replacement for Walmsley last week.
  • England's defeat last week will not worry them too much with easier tasks ahead but they will have to overcome this potential banana skin. They will be looking to improve their average points scored per game of 25.3 across their last six World Cup fixtures.

Head Coach: Wayne Bennett

Team: Lomax; McGillvary, Watkins, Bateman, Hall; Widdop, Gale; Hill, Hodgson, Graham, Currie, Whitehead, O'Loughlin

Bench: Walmsley, Heighington, Burgess, Roby


  • Lebanon produced a superb performance to claim their first ever World Cup victory over France in their opening fixture last weekend.
  • Parramatta Eels' Mitchell Moses was the key man and will be relied upon again if the Cedars are to cause an upset against England. They will be boosted by last week's win and hope to continue their recent defensive form having conceded no more than 18 points in their last four matches.
  • Brad Fittler has made several changes to his side with Chris Saab returning having missed out late on last week after suffering a concussion in the warm-up.

Head Coach: Brad Fittler

Team: Abou-Sleiman; Robinson, Maarbani, Doueihi, Miski; Moses, Farah; Mannah, Lichaa, Twal, Saab, Ellaz, Kassis

Bench: Mamary, Moujalli, Clark, Wehbe

Analysis - what to expect
England head into this game with plenty to work on after defeat against Australia last week but must overcome a Lebanon side who will play with no fear on the back of their first ever World Cup victory. The Cedars closed the game out impressively last week having gone ahead late on and will have nothing to lose in this one. England need to improve on last week as they look to get on the board for the tournament and should get the win here but must avoid complacency.