England Knights coach Paul Anderson has named a 20-man squad for the Jamaica game in Castleford on Friday (October 15, 7:45 p.m.).
Anderson put the focus on youth with an eye on the 2025 World Cup for the Mend-a-Hose Jungle clash. His team has an average age of just 21 and includes five teenagers.
Also included are ten former England Academy players who joined the Knights squad, including Super League Grand Final winner Betfred of St Helens, Lewis Dodd (pictured) and Ellis Longstaff of Warrington Wolves . Dodd and his St Helens teammate Matty Lees will undergo fitness tests after the Grand Final earlier this week before joining the squad later in the week.
Another former England Academy representative Mikey Lewis of Hull KR is included for the first time in a Knights squad, as are former Wigan Warriors Croydon Hurricanes and London Broncos second rower Kai Pearce- Paul.
And there is also a call for Leeds Rhinos center, 17, Levi Edwards, who has drawn attention with his performance in the Yorkshire clash against Lancashire Academy Origin this year.
“Through the Knights program, we are investing in the future of the English Rugby League, and although we have had some injuries and promotions in senior roster, it has created opportunities for others to come and show what they can do, ”Anderson says.
“I’m really excited to be working with this group of players and helping them realize their potential.”
The Knights team will spend the week at a camp in Leeds preparing for the Jamaican clash, which is also a testimonial match for Castleford Tigers’ Jordan Turner who is expected to line up for the ‘Reggae Warriors’. Preparation for the Knights also includes a joint field session with Shaun Wane’s senior side at Emerald Headingley Stadium in Leeds Rhinos.
“The Knights are all about developing talent, preparing well and competing hard,” added Anderson.
“My job is to prepare the players for the next step, the senior international team, and the connectivity between the two teams is enormous.
“At camp, players will be exposed to the critical differences between what they experience on a day-to-day basis with their clubs and what they can expect as an England international. For some of these players the chance to represent the senior team could show up at this year’s World Cup, while for others it could be in 2025. “
England Knights v Jamaica tickets are now available online at skidle.com.
Knights of England Team: Matty Ashton (Warrington Wolves), Jack Broadbent (Leeds Rhinos), Lewis Dodd (St Helens), Levi Edwards (Leeds Rhinos), Matthew English (Huddersfield Giants), Morgan Gannon (Leeds Rhinos), Sam Halsall (Wigan) Warriors), Tom Holroyd (Leeds Rhinos), George Lawler (Hull KR), Matthew Lees (St Helens), Mikey Lewis (Hull KR), Ellis Longstaff (Warrington Wolves), James McDonnell, Liam Marshall, Kai Pearce -Paul (all Wigan Warriors), Will Pryce (Huddersfield Giants), Aaron Smith (St Helens), Danny Walker (Warrington Wolves), Oliver Wilson (Huddersfield Giants), Connor Wrench (Warrington Wolves).
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