Former Bulls player Sam Burgess has been selected for the annual Rugby League World XIII, which is chosen by the media, after an absence of two years, while Billy Slater has been picked after a three-year gap.

Seven players – Billy Slater, Greg Inglis, Ryan Hall, Johnathan Thurston, James Graham, Cameron Smith and Paul Gallen – have retained their places.

Debutants Josh Morris, Cooper Cronk, Sam Kasiano and Nate Myles make up the team.

In addition to the World XIII, the January issue of Rugby League World Magazine carries the full world ratings, listing the top five ranked players in each position.

Editor John Drake explained: "Every year we invite members of the print and broadcast media across the rugby league playing world to vote for our world XIII, and this year's ultimate line-up is as formidable as any.

"While NRL-based Englishmen James Graham and Sam Burgess made the final cut, along with Ryan Hall who emerged as the runaway leader in the voting for a wing position, four other Super League players only just missed out too.

"Wigan duo Sam Tomkins at fullback and Sean O'Loughlin at loose forward, plus England captain Kevin Sinfield at stand-off and James Roby at hooker all ranked second in their positions in the overall world ratings, making it one of the strongest showings by English players in years.

"Hopefully that's a good omen for the World Cup in 2013!"