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Six Saints in EPS squad

Six St.Helens players have been named in the latest England Elite Performance Squad [EPS] to meet in April.

Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, James Roby, Luke Thompson and Alex Walmsley have all been named in Wayne Bennett’s 30-man squad for the first EPS meet of 2019. They will be joined by a England Knights squad, which will be named on Tuesday.

There is no mid-season international this year but Bennett, the England and Great Britain coach, will attend the second 2019 EPS meeting in June.

There are further meetings in August and September ahead of selection for the Great Britain Rugby League Lions tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea this autumn, and England’s participation in the World Cup Nines in Sydney.

Bennett said: “Even in a year when we don’t have a mid-season game, it’s important for us to name this squad – and also the Knights squad – early in the season.

“We had a good year in 2018 with four wins out of five, three of them against the Kiwis, and I know the guys will be looking forward to getting together again in April – and I’m looking forward to getting across there in June.

“Jack Hughes is one of a few players who have come up into the EPS from the Knights squads that were picked last year, which is good to see.

“When you think of the number of guys who are playing in the NRL so weren’t considered for this squad, it’s a good pool of players we’re building up – both for the Great Britain tour this autumn, and looking further ahead towards the 2021 World Cup.”

England Rugby League Elite Performance Squad in full:

Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers, Middleton Marauders)

Adam Milner (Castleford Tigers, Stanley Rangers)

Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers, West Bowling)

Liam Watts (Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Lions)

Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons, Wigan St Patricks)

Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants, Deighton Juniors)

Jake Connor (Hull FC, Siddal)

Jamie Shaul (Hull FC, Skirlaugh)

Scott Taylor (Hull FC, Skirlaugh)

Robbie Mulhern (Hull KR, Normanton Knights)

Stevie Ward (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)

Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos, Latchford Albion)

Jonny Lomax (St Helens, Orrell St James)

Tommy Makinson (St Helens, Wigan St Judes)

Mark Percival (St Helens, Halton Farnworth Hornets)

James Roby (St Helens, Blackbrook)

Luke Thompson (St Helens, Bold Miners)

Alex Walmsley (St Helens, Dewsbury Celtic)

Tom Johnstone (Wakefield Trinity, Stanningley)

Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity, Ideal Isberg)

Josh Charnley (Warrington Wolves, Wigan St Patricks)

Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves, Fryston Warriors)

Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves, Golborne Parkside)

Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves, New Springs Lions)

Jack Hughes (Warrington Wolves, Golborne Parkside)

Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves, Wigan St Patricks)

Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

Joe Greenwood (Wigan Warriors, Saddleworth Rangers)

Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

George Williams (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

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