Several Aussie-beaters, a handful of players with senior Betfred Super League experience, and a couple of familiar Rugby League names are included in the Lancashire and Yorkshire squads that have been announced today for the three-match Origin series that begins at Castleford on Easter Saturday.
Umyla Hanley, the son of Ellery who plays his Academy rugby for Wigan, is named for the first time in the Lancashire squad – and is joined by Jarrod O’Connor, the son of the former Wigan and Great Britain prop Terry, who recently joined Leeds Rhinos from Widnes Vikings.
They are joined by Jack Welsby of St Helens, who starred in England Academy’s 2-0 series win against the Australian Schoolboys in the winter – and has followed a number of other players from that squad into the Super League in recent weeks.
Welsby is one of eight Saints youngsters in the Lancashire squad, while his 2018 England team-mate Tom Holroyd is one of seven players from Leeds Rhinos in the Yorkshire squad. Holroyd is joined by Conner Wynne, who made his Super League debut for Hull FC at Salford last weekend, and Morgan Smithies, the Halifax-born forward who was another member of the successful England Academy squad last year, and has made an immediate impact with Wigan in recent weeks.
There is an additional emphasis on the Origin series in 2019, with no Academy internationals against southern hemisphere opposition this year – although many players in these squads will aiming to stake a claim for the tour of Australia in 2020.
The second match of the series will be played at Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road stadium on Saturday May 18 as part of the Betfred Championship Summer Bash weekend, with the series concluding at Odsal on June 15. Luke Robinson will coach the Yorkshire team, with Ian Talbot coaching Lancashire. The RFL hope to confirm soon that live coverage of all three matches will be available on the Our League app.
Full squads below:
Lancashire: Billy Glover (Widnes), Connor Wrench (Warrington), Ethan Havard (Wigan), Harry Rushton (Wigan), Jack Welsby (St Helens), Jake Bradley (Whitehaven), Jake Wingfield (St Helens), Jamie Pye (St Helens), Jarrod O’Connor (Leeds), Joe Barnes (Warrington), Josh Simm (St Helens), Josh Thewlis (Warrington), Kye Siyani (St Helens), Lewis Baxter (St Helens), Lewis Dodd (St Helens), Matthew Foster (St Helens), Reece Hamlett (Wigan), Sam Halsall (Wigan), Sam Walters (Leeds), Umyla Hanley (Wigan).
Yorkshire Brad Martin (Leeds), Conner Wynne (City of Hull Academy), Connor Bailey (Wakefield Trinity), Corey Johnson (Leeds), Dom Young (Huddersfield), Ellis Longstaff (Warrington), Harry Shackleton (Bradford), Jack Broadbent (Leeds), Jack Croft (Wakefield), Jacob Gannon (Warrington), Kai Tyson (City of Hull Academy), Lewis Peachey (Castleford), Liam Tindall (Leeds), Liam Whitton (Leeds), Mikey Lewis (City of Hull Academy), Morgan Smithies (Wigan), Rian Rowley (Leeds), Riley Dean (Warrington), Tom Holroyd (Leeds), Yusuf Aydin (Wakefield).
Lancashire: Ian Talbot Head Coach St Helens
Shane Eccles Assistant Coach Wigan Warriors
Grant Gore Coaching Support Widnes Vikings
Yorkshire: Luke Robinson Head Coach Huddersfield Giants
Michael Heap Assistant Coach Newcastle Thunder
Jonny Wainhouse Coaching Support Leeds Rhinos
Academy ‘Origin’ Series: Fixture One – Saturday, April 20 (KO 2.00pm), Mend-A-Hose Jungle Fixture Two – Saturday, May 18 (KO 11.00am), Bloomfield Road – part of Betfred Championship Summer Bash Fixture Three – Saturday, June 15 (KO 2.00pm), Odsal Stadium