Following a review of the Denver Test and the first phase of the 2018 England Performance Squad (EPS) sessions, England Head Coach Wayne Bennett and his coaching staff have selected a 25-man squad for the second phase of the season.
In June, England defeated New Zealand 36-18 at Mile High Stadium, Denver in the first international game to be played in the USA for 18 years as part of their preparations for this Autumn’s three-match Test Series against the Kiwis.
England Elite Men’s Squad will also play France in a warm-up game on Wednesday, October 17 (KO 7.45pm) at Leigh Sports Village.
Castleford Tigers loose forward Adam Milner is the only new face included in the squad, whilst Wigan Warriors full-back Sam Tomkins and Warrington Wolves prop Mike Cooper make their returns to the side. Tomkins has not featured for England since the 2014 Four Nations and Cooper made his last appearance in 2016.
On the Elite Performance Squad, Bennett said,
“Myself and staff have been monitoring players every week throughout the season so far.
“The 14 Super League players that travelled over for the Denver Test have been selected including Jake Connor and Luke Thompson who were promoted from the England Knights Performance Squad and proved their commitment and value to the squad.
“It was a very positive and productive camp which resulted in a great performance against the Kiwis and I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made so far this year.
“We’re welcoming two recalls to the squad and one new addition and the door will remain open for the remainder of the season as we head towards the International Test Series against New Zealand later this year.”
England Knights Head Coach Paul Anderson has also selected a 31-man Knights Performance Squad (KPS) for the second phase of the season, as they prepare to take on Papua New Guinea in two test matches later this year.
Castleford Tigers prop Oliver Holmes, who played in last year’s Betfred Super League Grand Final, is one of ten new additions to the squad alongside St Helens’ prop Matt Lees, who has played in a number of key games for the league leaders this season.
Wigan Warriors’ mid-season recruit Joe Greenwood is one of many new inclusions to the side that also features Warrington Wolves’ utility Harvey Livett, Hull FC’s Brad Fash and Hull Kingston Rovers’ Robbie Mulhern.
Leeds Rhinos’ have two new players selected as centre Ash Handley and fellow team-mate Mikolaj Oledzki are included, as do Wakefield Trinity as full-back Max Jowitt and second row James Batchelor are called up to the squad.
England Knights Head Coach, Paul Anderson said, “The return of England Knights has been welcomed this year and the KPS sessions have been hugely positive and valuable for the players involved.
“It’s great to be able to include new faces to the squad as we head towards the end of the season and build towards the two matches against Papua New Guinea on tour.”
England Rugby League Elite Performance Squad
- Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers)
- Mike McMeeken (Castleford Tigers)
- Adam Milner (Castleford Tigers)
- Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants)
- Jake Connor (Hull FC)
- Scott Taylor (Hull FC)
- Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos)
- Stevie Ward (Leeds Rhinos)
- Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos)
- Jonny Lomax (St Helens)
- Tommy Makinson (St Helens)
- Mark Percival (St Helens)
- James Roby (St Helens)
- Luke Thompson (St Helens)
- Alex Walmsley (St Helens)
- Tom Johnstone (Wakefield Trinity)
- Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves)
- Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves)
- Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves)
- Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves)
- Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves)
- John Bateman (Wigan Warriors)
- Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors)
- Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors)
- George Williams (Wigan Warriors)
England Rugby League Knights Performance Squad
- Greg Minikin (Castleford Tigers)
- Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers)
- Oliver Holmes (Castleford Tigers)
- Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield Giants)
- Brad Fash (Hull FC)
- Dean Hadley (Hull FC)
- Masimbaashe Matongo (Hull FC)
- Jamie Shaul (Hull FC)
- Chris Atkin (Hull KR)
- Robbie Mulhern (Hull KR)
- Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos)
- Mikolaj Oledzski (Leeds Rhinos)
- Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos)
- Jack Walker (Leeds Rhinos)
- James Cunningham (London Broncos)
- Niall Evalds (Salford Red Devils)
- Tom Davies (Wigan Warriors)
- Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors)
- Joe Greenwood (Wigan Warriors)
- Sam Powell (Wigan Warriors)
- Ryan Sutton (Wigan Warriors)
- Matt Lees (St Helens)
- Danny Richardson (St Helens)
- James Batchelor (Wakefield Trinity)
- Max Jowitt (Wakefield Trinity)
- Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity)
- Jack Hughes (Warrington Wolves)
- Harvey Livett (Warrington Wolves)
- Tom Gilmore (Widnes Vikings)
- Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings)
- Matt Whitley (Widnes Vikings)