Preparations for England’s World Cup Nines squad, the first Great Britain tour since 2006, and the England Knights fixture against Jamaica at Emerald Headingley on October 20 will be stepped up this week as players, coaches and support staff gather for the first two of four sessions at the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance.
At this stage, the group of 28 players includes 12 from the Great Britain Performance Squad that was announced earlier this month, and 16 from the Knights Performance Squad that was last revised in July.
The majority of players will attend a first session at the MIHP tomorrow (Tuesday), and a second on Thursday, led by England Knights Head Coach Paul Anderson and England Pathways Coach Paul Sculthorpe.
The four players included from Castleford Tigers – Mike McMeeken, Greg Minikin, Jake Trueman and Liam Watts – have been given an additional week of recovery and rest, following their team’s play-off defeat at Salford on Thursday night, and will join the preparations on Tuesday week (October 8).
This group does not include players from the three teams still competing for the Betfred Super League title, or the players based in the National Rugby League in Australia.
England’s 16-man squad for the inaugural Downer World Cup Nines in Sydney will be announced next Sunday (October 6), ahead of their departure for Sydney on Saturday October 12.
There will be an open media session at the MIHP on Tuesday October 8, including additional media opportunities with members of the England Women squad for the World Cup Nines, and the England Wheelchair team who are also heading for Australia next month for an Ashes series – details below.
The 24-man squad for the four-match Great Britain Rugby League Lions tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea which follows the Nines will be announced on Monday October 14 – with media access to selected players to be arranged on Tuesday October 15, ahead of their departure for Sydney the following day.
(They will attend the Nines, and then link up with those members of the England squad who have also been selected for Great Britain, to fly on to Auckland on October 20).
Training Group: Mike McMeeken, Greg Minikin, Jake Trueman, Liam Watts (Castleford Tigers), Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons), Matt English, Kruise Leeming, Jermaine McGillvary, Darnell McIntosh, Oliver Wilson (Huddersfield Giants), Josh Bowden, Jake Connor, Masi Matongo (Hull FC), Chris Atkin (Hull KR), Ash Handley, Harry Newman, Mikolaj Oledzski, Cameron Smith (Leeds Rhinos), Rob Butler (London Broncos), Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity), Blake Austin, Daryl Clark, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Toby King, Tom Lineham, Joe Philbin, Danny Walker (Warrington Wolves).