Wigan Warriors youngsters named in England Knights squad
Youngsters Harry Smith, Morgan Smithies and Oliver Partington are among the five Wigan players in the England Knights squad to face Jamaica at Headingley this Sunday.
Sam Powell – who was co-captain of the side’s tour of Papua New Guinea last year – and forward Joe Greenwood are also included.
Smith’s inclusion may raise some eyebrows, given he has only played one senior match for the Warriors, but he impressed for England academy last year and has been tipped for a bright future.
Smithies also faced the Aussie Schoolboys last year and has enjoyed a stunning breakthrough campaign this year, while prop Partington finished the campaign as one of the club’s starting front-rowers.
Winger Liam Marshall and prop Joe Bullock were in the initial squad but haven’t made the cut.
Still, Wigan provide more players than any other club but 10 of the 12 Super League clubs are represented for the only international match on British soil this year.
Paul Anderson, the Knights head coach, said: “I think this squad shows why it was so important for the Knights to play this autumn.
“You can see from the Great Britain squad selected on Monday how much guys like Jack Hughes and Joe Philbin benefited from going to Papua New Guinea with the Knights last year.
“The other part of the pathway is young players such as Harry Newman, Harry Smith and Morgan Smithies coming up from the Academy after outstanding performances against the Australian Schoolboys last autumn, and then building on that with their club performances this season. The average age of the squad is only 22, and 12 of the 19 will be hoping to win their first Knights cap.
“That makes it an exciting squad to be around, and with attractive opposition in Jamaica, we hope rugby league supporters will be keen to watch our next generation in international action next weekend.”
England Knights squad: Jack Ashworth (St Helens), Josh Bowden (Hull FC), Rob Butler (London Broncos), Nial Evalds ( Salford), Joe Greenwood (Wigan), Toby King (Warrington), Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield), Tom Lineham (Warrington), Darnell McIntosh (Huddersfield), Greg Minikin (Castleford), Harry Newman (Leeds), Mikolaj Oledzski (Leeds), Oliver Partington (Wigan), Matt English (Huddersfield), Sam Powell (Wigan), Danny Richardson (St Helens), Harry Smith (Wigan), Cameron Smith (Leeds), Morgan Smithies (Wigan).