Five Wigan Warriors aiming to face Australian tourists

Shorrocks playing against Leeds in the academy Grand Final
Shorrocks playing against Leeds in the academy Grand Final

Five Wigan players are in the England academy squad to face the Australian Schoolboys this Saturday.

Ethan Havard, Harry Smith, James McDonnell, Joe Shorrocks and Morgan Smithies will be hoping to make their mark in the two-game series.

Leeds have seven players in the squad, St Helens have four while Huddersfield (two), Hull academy (one), Widnes (two) and Bradford (one) also have representatives.

Saturday’s game kicks-off at 2pm at Leigh Sports Village, tickets are £5 (and £3 under-17s and over-65s).

Dave Elliott, the former Warrington forward who has been involved in the England Academy set-up since 2010, said: “Games against the Australian Schoolboys are always special, and we’re all really looking forward to what’s coming up in the next couple of weeks.

“The Aussies are a strong, athletic and talented group, as always. But Yorkshire and Lancashire both acquitted themselves really well in their games against the Australians in the last week or so, and I’m excited about the talent and the ability we’ve got in our England squad.”

There has been one sour note in the build-up to the internationals for the England squad, with the shock news that the St Helens and Lancashire forward Joe Sharratt is in hospital after suffering serious injuries in a well-publicised incident in Manchester at the weekend.

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“Joe is a popular and respected lad among the group who was exemplary in everything he did with the Lancashire squad last week, and he was a key figure in their team performing so well against the Australians,” added Elliott.

“We’re all thinking of him, and I’d like to send our best wishes on behalf of the whole squad and everyone else at the Rugby Football League to Joe and his family.”

England Academy squad:

Ben Davies (Widnes Vikings), Cameron Scott (City of Hull Academy), Corey Johnson (Leeds Rhinos), Callum McLelland (Leeds Rhinos), Ethan Havard (Wigan Warriors), Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos), Harry Smith (Wigan Warriors), Innes Senior (Huddersfield Giants), Muzzi Mustapha (Leeds Rhinos), Jack Welsby (St Helens), Jake Wingfield (St Helens), James McDonnell (Wigan Warriors), Joe Shorrocks (Wigan Warriors), Josh Simm (St Helens), Loui McConnell (Leeds Rhinos), Louis Senior (Huddersfield Giants), Morgan Smithies (Wigan Warriors), Oliver Wilson (Bradford Bulls), Owen Trout (Leeds Rhinos), Sam Walters (Widnes Vikings), Tom Holroyd (Leeds Rhinos), Tom Nisbet (St Helens).