Huddersfield assistant coach Paul Anderson has joined the England Knights staff as assistant coach and will work with coach Kieron Purtill as the Knights squad prepare for two international fixtures against Samoa and France this October.
The Knights squad will play their first competitive game against France on Saturday October 15, with their second test coming against Samoa on October 22 and Anderson, who has spent the last five seasons working with Huddersfield, is relishing the chance to get involved with the England set-up and lend his experience to the coaching team.
“I’m really looking forward to getting involved with the squad,” said Anderson. “I was fortunate enough to play for England during my career and to have the chance to now coach with England is a great opportunity for me.
“It’s an exciting team to come into and the Knights is a new squad, so it’s all exciting. There’s a lot of great talent and lots of very young players involved and the prospect for me to work with the cream of the crop in this country really is a mouth-watering one.
“There’s a lot of young talent in Super League at the moment and the Knights programme is there to nurture them along and give them an insight into what it’s like to play at the top level. It’s also important that these players, because they are young, remain grounded and professional and that’s another aspect to the system.”
Anderson, who made over 200 Super League appearances during his career, will get to grips with the Knights players for the first time after the 2011 Engage Super League Grand Final and he’s says he’s especially looking forward to working alongside Purtill once again.
“I know Kieron very well,” he said. “He’s a very energetic and hard working coach and he actually coached me for a year at St Helens and we worked together at Huddersfield. He’s a very knowledgeable coach and I’m looking forward to working with him again.
“We’ve been working with some of the best coaches in Super League and I’m keen to pick his brain and hear his experiences and I’m sure that if we can share the tips we’ve picked up it will only serve to help the Knights perform. We only have short periods of times with the players, so it’s important that we make the whole experience enjoyable for the lads coming in.
“We have two tough games coming up and to have them facing tough opposition, who have played at the international level previously, can only be a good thing for the squad and the competition will help these young players develop. The Exiles game was a great example of that for the senior side, because the more games the teams get against tough opposition, then the better they will be on the international level.”