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Lees, Richardson and Ashworth in Knights Squad

Matty Lees and Danny Richardson have been joined by Jack Ashworth who is named in Paul Anderson's England Knights Performance squad [KPS] for the first time.

Exciting Saints forward Ashworth is joined by fellow Wigan newcomers Dom Manfredi, Liam Marshall and Joe Bullock, whilst Matt English, Adam O’Brien and Darnell McIntosh are the three Huddersfield newcomers.

Salford’s Josh Jones, Castleford’s Alex Foster and Leeds Rhinos’ Cameron Smith are the remaining newcomers.

The Saints trio’s inclusion comes after yesterday’s announcement that six Saints were included in the Elite Performance squad.

The KPS will join the 30-man England Performance Squad at their first get-together of the season next month, and will hold a number of other meetings and training sessions in the remainder of the year – with at least one home fixture being planned for this autumn, when the senior Great Britain squad are on tour in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Paul Anderson, the England Knights head coach, said: “We think this is an exciting group of players, all of whom know from their selection that they are very much in the thoughts of the England coaches.

“Involvement in the Knights set-up gives them the chance to impress, as has been shown by the England debuts made by so many players from the KPS last year, and the inclusion in this year’s England Performance Squad of Robbie Mulhern and our 2018 captain Jack Hughes.

“The trip to Papua New Guinea last year was such a memorable trip for all of us but also a massive benefit both physically and mentally as we develop elite level players for future tournaments, building towards the 2021 and 2025 World Cups.”

 England Knights Performance Squad in full:

Alex Foster (Castleford Tigers, Wetherby Bulldogs)

Oliver Holmes (Castleford Tigers, Normanton Knights)

Greg Minikin (Castleford Tigers, Wetherby Bulldogs)

Matt Whitley (Catalans Dragons, Bold Miners)

Matt English (Huddersfield Giants, Stanley Rangers)

Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)

Darnell McIntosh (Huddersfield Giants, Dewsbury Celtic)

Adam O’Brien (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)

Oliver Roberts (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)

Chris Atkin (Hull KR, Liverpool John Moores University)

Dean Hadley (Hull FC, Skirlaugh)

Masimbaashe Matongo (Hull FC, West Hull)

Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)

Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)

Cameron Smith (Leeds Rhinos, Lock Lane)

Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)

Jack Walker (Leeds Rhinos, East Leeds)

Niall Evalds (Salford Red Devils, Siddal)

Josh Jones (Salford Red Devils, Blackbrook Royals)

Jack Ashworth (St Helens, Rochdale Mayfield)

Matt Lees (St Helens, Rochdale Mayfield)

Danny Richardson (St Helens, Halton Farnworth Hornets)

James Batchelor (Wakefield Trinity, Crigglestone All Blacks)

Toby King (Warrington Wolves, Meltham All Blacks)

Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves, York RUFC)

Harvey Livett (Warrington Wolves, Rylands Sharks)

Dec Patton (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Giants)

Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves, Culcheth Eagles)

Danny Walker (Warrington Wolves, Rylands Sharks)

Joe Bullock (Wigan Warriors, Blackpool Scorpion)

Tom Davies (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

Liam Marshall (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

Dom Manfredi (Wigan Warriors, Leigh Miners)

Sam Powell (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

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