'Absolute joke': England great slams Wayne Bennett

Rugby league great Garry Schofield has absolutely hammered Wayne Bennett over the selection of the England national side.

Bennett caused controversy recently when he picked Aussies Chris McQueen and Chris Heighington (who both have English fathers) in the England team for their clash with Samoa on Saturday.

The inclusion of McQueen and Heighington means squad members Alex Walmsley, Mark Percival and Scott Taylor will travel halfway across the world just to sit in the stands and watch.

Schofield (R) in his heyday. Image: Getty

And Schofield, who played 46 Tests for Great Britain, is absolutely seething.

The former England captain took to Twitter on Friday, declaring the team selections an "absolute joke".

Schofield has been heavily critical of the heritage player policy, which has seen the likes of McQueen, Heighington, Trent Hodkinson and Blake Austin labelled 'plastic Poms' by English media.

Schofield (R) with Aussie great Steve Renouf. Image: Getty

McQueen recently revealed his Queensland State of Origin dumping was the catalyst behind his decision to seek English Test selection.

"All the suspensions and injuries around Origin last year gave me the realisation that the ship has sailed on representing Queensland and it was time to explore new options," McQueen said.

"The thing that really hit home was how proud my dad was when I told him I was going to be playing for England.

McQueen. Image: Getty

"I'd be surprised if he doesn't have a tear in his eye when I run out next weekend."

Cronulla veteran Heighington hit back at Australian coach Mal Mengina's suggestion he was only in the squad because of a lack of depth in the English Super League.

"I watch a bit of the Super League and they've got some real good players getting around," Heighington said.

Heighington (centre). Image: Getty

"Wayne's picked me for a reason and I'm just going to go out and play well for them, I don't think it's a depth issue.

"Every country's doing it. There's probably a few (players born in other countries) in the Australian team. I'm not sure why we get the criticism we do."

Heighington previously represented England in 2011 despite having played for NSW Country in 2008 and 2011.

with AAP