England Academy name 20-man squad to face Wales
England Academy have named a 20-man squad to face Wales Academy in a two-Test series which starts on Sunday October 13 (3.00pm).
Seven Super League clubs are represented in the squad, which features eight players from Wigan Warriors, three from Huddersfield Giants, one from St Helens and two apiece from Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls and Warrington Wolves.
England Academy coach John Winder believes that junior Rugby League in England is thriving and that his squad can benefit from a number of players having already played in Super League.
“Whenever you select a national team it is a tough decision,” said Winder. “We have some great talent and there are good players who miss out now but they only miss out on this squad, for these Tests. The door is always open.
“One of the big strengths of the England programme is that we have players coming in who have Super League experience. George Williams, for example, at Wigan, has already played in Super League.”
The Academy will attend a training camp in South Wales, starting on Friday October 11, before they play Wales Academy on Sunday October 13 (3.00pm) and Friday October 18, with both matches to be played at Taffs Wells RFC near Cardiff.
“In all England environments it is about creating a learning environment,” added Winder. “We have a nine-day camp now which will help with the players’ process and development.
“It definitely helps to have the England Knights as a stepping stone, there is a full pathway now for the players from youth level to the Knights and eventually to the full senior squad.
“There is a really good mix of players here in this squad. We have players who have been in the England programme for the last couple of years and also we have some new fresh faces.
“The likes of Williams and Ryan Hampshire from Wigan Warriors have been around for a while now and we have new players like Tyler Dickinson from Huddersfield Giants coming in. It is a really good opportunity to have a look at all of these players together.”
England Academy squad to play Wales Academy (professional and community clubs in brackets):
Ben Austin (Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge)
Jordan Baldwinson (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)
Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge)
Lewis Charnock (St Helens, Rylands)
Jake Connor (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)
Nathan Conroy (Bradford Bulls, West Bowling)
Tyler Dickinson (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)
Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Ryan Hampshire (Wigan Warriors, Normanton)
Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Toby King (Warrington Wolves, Meltham All Black)
Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)
Rob Lever (Wigan Warriors, Bold Miners)
Alex Mellor (Bradford Bulls, King Cross Park)
Ryan Sutton (Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge)
Lewis Tierney (Wigan Warriors, Orrel St James)
Jansin Turget (Hull FC, West Hull)
Bobby Tyson-Wilson (Hull FC, West Hull)
Tom Walker (Warrington Wolves, Cockermouth Titans)
George Williams (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
The two-Test schedule is as follows:
First Test - Sunday October 13 (3.00pm)
Second Test – Friday October 18 (6.30pm)
Both Tests are at Taffs Well RFC, Glan Y Llyn Square Maes Gwyn, Taffs Well, Cardiff, CF15 7JD