Following a day after the announcement of the England Elite Performance Squad, the England Knights coaching staff led by former Super League forward Paul Anderson have revealed their 2019 squad with Wigan Warriors and Huddersfield Giants both having three new faces introduced.
In total, the Warriors have five members in the squad with two-try Grand Final star Dom Manfredi and Liam Marshall being joined by Cumbrian Joe Bullock in the ranks. Sam Powell and winger Tom Davies are included in the squad after being part of the tour to Papua New Guinea last winter. Pacy back Darnell McIntosh is joined by forwards Adam O’Brien and Matt English and the Giants, like Wigan, have five members representing the club in the Knights’ ranks, Kruise Leeming and Oliver Roberts remaining from last year’s touring party.
There are four other newcomers with Josh Jones (Salford Red Devils), Jack Ashworth (St Helens) and Leeds’ Cameron Smith joining Castleford second-row/centre Alex Foster in the squad for the first time, the latter having recovered from an injury sustained in the second-half of last season to start the season in good form for the Tigers.
The 2019 Knights squad will meet for the first time in April where they will join up with the Elite Performance Squad before meeting on numerous occasions throughout the rest of the season. While there haven’t been fixtures confirmed for the Knights this year, the intention is to have at least one international – probably against one of the home nations – following the culmination of the Super League season.
England Knights Head Coach Paul Anderson, following the squad reveal, 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.”
England Rugby League Elite Performance Squad in full:
Alex Foster, Oliver Holmes, Greg Minikin (all Castleford Tigers), Matt Whitley (Catalans Dragons), Matt English, Kruise Leeming, Darnell McIntosh, Adam O’Brien, Oliver Roberts (all Huddersfield Giants), Chris Atkin (Hull KR), Dean Hadley, Masi Matongo (both Hull FC), Ash Handley, Mikolaj Oledzki, Cameron Smith, Liam Sutcliffe, Jack Walker (all Leeds Rhinos), Niall Evalds, Josh Jones (both Salford Red Devils) Jack Ashworth, Matt Lees Danny Richardson (all St Helens), James Batchelor (Wakefield Trinity), Toby King, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Dec Patton, Joe Philbin, Danny Walker (Warrington Wolves), Joe Bullock, Tom Davies, Liam Marshall, Dom Manfredi, Sam Powell (all Wigan Warriors)