May 2, 2022

Luke Mearns named in Yorkshire Origin Squad



Trinity Academy Captain Luke Mearns has been named in the Yorkshire Origin Academy squad!

Lancashire and Yorkshire today name their squads for the first of this year’s three-match Origin Academy series at Widnes on Sunday 15 May.

Paul Anderson, Head of England Pathways, has selected 42 of the best young players from the across Betfred Super League and Championship Academy sides, including several who already have first team experience. One of them, Hull FC’s Denive Balmforth (Yorkshire), made a try-scoring debut off the bench against Toulouse Olympique on Saturday.

Lancashire will be coached by Shane Eccles, a long-serving member of Wigan Warriors’ scholarship and academy systems, while former England and Great Britain player Chev Walker, Academy Head Coach at Leeds Rhinos, will take charge of Yorkshire. Eccles will be assisted by Warrington Wolves pair Tyrone McCarthy (Scholarship head coach) and Liam Myler (strength and conditioning), while Walker will be working alongside Huddersfield Giants’ duo Tom Tsang and Adam Megretton.

Origin Academy returns to its three-match format this summer following the enforced cancellation of the entire 2020 programme and a Covid-curtailed 2021. Game two will be played at Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 26 June, with the third and final encounter taking place at Wakefield on Sunday 24 July.

Paul Anderson, Head of England Pathways, says:
“Shane and Chev are two exceptional coaches, fully focused on developing players not only for Super league but for England too. And their squads are packed with young talent who we are keen to see perform at what for them is the next level up on the England talent pathway.

“All training sessions ahead of each Origin match will be held at Leeds Beckett University – a world class campus which reflects the ambitions of our development programme. Residential camps will also be a feature of the Origin series, so that our best players are exposed to the camp environment they might experience at senior level and better understand the demands and expectations involved.

“The return of a full Academy programme in 2022 is really beneficial to players, coaches, clubs and the game as a whole. This is how we identify and develop the players who have the potential to become elite performers on the domestic and international stage.”

England RL Academy is part of the RFL’s talent pathway, which also includes England Knights and the senior men’s squad. Several members of the England squad named recently be Shaun Wane are graduates of this pathway, including Leeds Rhinos’ trio Kruise Leeming, Harry Newman and Mikolaj Oledzki, Matty Lees of St Helens and Wigan Warriors’ Liam Marshall.

Lancashire 21 player squad
Joseph Baldwin (Wigan Warriors), McKenzie Buckley (St Helens), Jack Darbyshire (Warrington Wolves), George Delaney, Kalan Devine (both St Helens), Aiden Doolan (Warrington Wolves), Jacob Douglas (Wigan Warriors), Ben Hartill, Leon Hayes (both Warrington Wolves), Sam Haynes (St Helens), Harvie Hill (Wigan Warriors), Ben Lane, Ciaran Nolan (both St Helens), Richards Nsemba (Wigan Warriors) Will Roberts, Dayon Sambou (both St Helens), Jack Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos), Jake Thewlis, Nolan Tupea (both Warrington Wolves), Leunbou Bardyell Wells (St Helens), Max Wood (Wigan Warriors)

Yorkshire 21 player squad
Bailey Aldridge (Leeds Rhinos), Bailey Arnold (Bradford Bulls), Denive Balmforth (Hull FC), Connor Barley (Hull Kingston Rovers), Alfie Edgehill (Leeds Rhinos), George Flanagan Jnr (Bradford Bulls), Harrison Gilmore (Leeds Rhinos), Lucas Green (Warrington Wolves), Jake Higgins (Leeds Rhinos), Adam Holroyd (Warrington Wolves), Matt Laidlaw (Hull FC), Riley Lumb (Leeds Rhinos), Lewis Martin (Hull FC), Luke Mearns (Wakefield Trinity), Sullivan Medford (Hull FC), Kai Morgan (Leeds Rhinos), Xander Nash (Huddersfield Giants), Jason Qareqare (Castleford Tigers), Max Simpson, Jack Smith (both Leeds Rhinos), Leo Tennison (Hull Kingston Rovers)