PAUL Cook, Leeds' talented teenage back, was today handed a sensational call-up to the England squad for next month's Halifax Rugby League Centenary World Cup.

The Great Britain academy ace has been named in Phil Larder's 25-man party which was announced at a news conference at Castleford this morning.

Cook's display in Friday night's 30-28 victory against Bradford Bulls clinched his place in the squad in which there are 11 new England caps.

It completes a meteoric rise to stardom for Cook who has only this season won a regular first-team spot at Leeds, taking over the goal-kicking duties from the injured Graham Holroyd.

England head coach Larder said: "I've been impressed by some of the great young talent coming through in British rugby league.

"Many of them are not ready for the demands of World Cup rugby, but players like Paul Cook have shown that they have acquired the ability to play at that level.

"Paul has shown his big-match temperament for Leeds and he has two real advantages for the squad.

"He can cover both wing and full-back positions and is an in-form goal-kicker who will be able to back up Andy Farrell and Bobby Goulding.

"He has come from nowhere since the injury to Graham Holroyd and has pushed ahead of his Headingley clubmate Francis Cummins, who was in the original squad of 40."

Two more exciting youngsters in the squad are the Wigan pair of back row forward Simon Haughton and utility back Kris Radlinski, who like Cook are both uncapped and also only 19.

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