World of Sport

Mum upset as son fails to join his three brothers in England squad

World of Sport

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England have named their squad for the rugby league World Cup in October and it contains three brothers from Dewsbury.

Sam Burgess (24) is back in the squad after a three year absence and he is joined by his uncapped twin brothers George and Tom Burgess (21).

However, a fourth brother, Luke (26), who also plays, just missed out.

The four players, who weigh a combined 460 kg (1,014 pounds), were all born in Yorkshire but play in Australia for the South Sydney Rabbitohs – a team that are co-owned by Hollywood actor Russell Crowe.

However their mum Julie, who moved to Australia so she could watch her four sons play, said she was devastated her eldest was missing out.

"It's so disappointing that Luke's not in there. That was a heartbreak and I don't understand it," she told the BBC.

"He's dealing with it - which you have to do - but you have to understand it's such a huge disappointment to see all your brothers go back to England and not be part of it. It's really hard as a mum to know what to say."

England coach Steve McNamara admitted it would have been a 'fairy tale' if all the brothers had been selected but insisted his job was to select the 24 best players at his disposal.

"Luke will be disappointed, but I'm sure he'll be happy that three of the four are included," McNamara said.

"It would have been a fairy tale if all four [brothers] were involved, but it's not my job to do that."

Earlier this year the Burgess boys became the first set of four brothers to line up in the same Australian side for more than a century since Ray, Roy, Rex and Bernard Norman all turned out for the now-defunct Annandale club in 1910.

It was also the only the third time that four Englishmen have played first grade for the same team in Australia.

The World Cup begins on October 26 with England taking on Australia in Cardiff and the final then takes place at Old Trafford on November 30.

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