ENGLAND coach Steve McNamara has named an exciting 32-strong Elite Training Squad that will form the nucleus of the national team between now and the Rugby League World Cup in 2013 – and it has nine Saints in it!
James Graham, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Leon Pryce, James Roby, Michael Shenton and Jon Wilkin have been included in the ETS whilst Paul Clough, Jonny Lomax and Scott Moore have been added to the Knights.
The new England Knights programme features 25 players from 11 Engage Super League clubs who will supplement the pool of players available to the national team and add valuable pressure for international selection among the sport’s top stars.
“These are two very exciting squads whose participation in the programmes we are putting together will help us realise our ambition to win the Rugby League World Cup in 2013,” said McNamara.
“There is a terrific blend of youth and experience in the ETS and I’m sure all the players involved, especially the younger element, will benefit from working alongside each other over the months and years to come.
“Both programmes are designed to create enhanced player development and while some players will not be involved in the World Cup come 2013, there are players in both squads who we fully expect will feature in that tournament and the World Cup in 2017.”
The average age of the ETS is just 25 while the average of the Knights is 21.6.
“Just as players such as Liam Watts and Paul Prescott will learn a lot from the likes of Adrian Morley and Jamie Peacock in the ETS, Ryan Atkins and Darrell Goulding can help educate the Knights players into the England way of doing things,” added McNamara.
The ETS and Knights will get together for the first time next week for the first of three two-day camps scheduled for 2011.
Negotiations are currently underway with possible international opposition for the Knights in 2011 whilst England are looking ahead to a home Four Nations involving Australia, New Zealand and Wales, as well as a mid-season international in June.
Full details of the England ETS and England Knights squads are below:
England Elite Training Squad:
Chris Bridge, Ben Harrison, Adrian Morley, Richard Myler, Ben Westwood (all Warrington); Tom Briscoe (Hull FC); Peter Fox, Liam Watts, Kris Welham (all Hull KR); Rob Burrow, Ryan Hall, Ben Jones-Bishop, Danny McGuire, Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield (all Leeds Rhinos); Danny Brough, Eorl Crabtree, Leroy Cudjoe, Luke Robinson (all Huddersfield Giants); Michael McIlorum, Paul Prescott, Sam Tomkins, Joel Tomkins, Sean O’Loughlin (all Wigan Warriors); James Graham, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Leon Pryce, James Roby, Michael Shenton, Jon Wilkin (all St Helens); Tony Clubb (Harlequins); Brett Ferres (Castleford Tigers).
Joe Arundel, John Walker (both Castleford Tigers); Ryan Atkins, Chris Riley (both Warrington Wolves); Jodie Broughton, Stefan Ratchford, Matty Smith (all Salford City Reds); Josh Charnley, Liam Farrell, Darrell Goulding, Stefan Marsh, Lee Mossop (all Wigan Warriors); Paul Clough, Jonny Lomax, Scott Moore (all St Helens); James Donaldson, Elliott Whitehead (both Bradford Bulls); Dale Ferguson, Michael Lawrence, Jermaine McGilvray, Larne Patrick, Shaun Lunt (all Huddersfield Giants); Luke Gale (Harlequins), Kallum Watkins (Leeds); Joe Westerman (Hull FC).