Saints star for England Academy but fall to a French defeat

Four players from the St.Helens Academy team represented England Academy in an international match against France on Tuesday (2nd July), but came just short of a remarkable comeback victory.

It was a match that was full of drama, but in the end for England perhaps too much after overturning a 18-point deficit to lead 37-36 heading into the final two minutes of the match. A heartbreaking last twist saw France put in a kick which their winger was able to get to and snatch the victory.

For the Saints, our youngsters got highly valuable game time in a different and elite international environment as they continue their development progression as young men with the closing half of the 2024 Academy Championship season to now come.

It was a special day for George Whitby who led out the England team at the Halliwell Jones Stadium as captain. In the match itself George kicked four conversions, set up one try and kicked what was hoped to be the match winning point with a drop goal.

Harry Robertson continued his sensational run of recent form which saw him; score seven tries against Huddersfield Academy, step up into the First Team training ranks, and be included in Paul Wellens’ 21-man squad declarations in the last month. On Tuesday night, Harry began at fullback and during the match scored two tries, and assisted for another.

Fellow Saints Jake Davies and Owen Dagnall also featured for the England outfit, with Davies grabbing an impressive assist for Robertson’s second score. And our player Billy Keeley was named as 18th man for the English as well.

The RFL’s YouTube channel has the full match replay, but the highlights can be viewed below.

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