Atkins recalled to England squad

England coach Steve McNamara has included Warrington Wolves centre Ryan Atkins and Hull FC back row forward Danny Tickle in his squad for the forthcoming International Origin opener against the Exiles at Langtree Park, St Helens on Saturday June 16 (6.45pm). 

Atkins, who has not played for England since October 2010 in a defeat to Australia in Melbourne, returns to the squad after impressing McNamara in recent weeks with some strong performances in the Stobart Super League is joined in the squad by the other non Elite Training Squad member Tickle whose last international cap came in 2009 in victory over Wales at Brewery Field, Bridgend.

“I have been impressed with Ryan (Atkins) and Danny’s (Tickle) form in recent weeks,” said McNamara.

“They have worked hard to force their way into the squad and now have an opportunity of being part of the Elite Training Squad for the rest of this year and beyond.

“It was a difficult process to select the squad that will face the Exiles. There are considerably more than 21 players in the Stobart Super League that could quite easily have been part of our plans and that is testament to the quality we have in the competition.”

The 21-man squad includes 10 players who were involved in the 2011 Gillette Four Nations and four players who are uncapped by England, including Leeds Rhinos utility player Carl Ablett and Wigan Warriors in-form speedster Josh Charnley.

From the original ETS squad selected in March, 12 players have not been selected including Warrington prop Adrian Morley, Leeds’ Ryan Bailey and Catalan Dragons hooker Ian Henderson. ETS members Zak Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos), Ben Jones-Bishop (Leeds Rhinos) and Jonny Lomax (St Helens) have been selected in the England Knights squad that will play Ireland preceding the International Origin match at Langtree Park.

“We have a number of players who are injured (Danny McGuire, Kallum Watkins, Ben Westwood and Kirk Yeaman) that haven’t been considered for selection this time,” added McNamara.

“For the other players that have missed out, the door is still open and it is important that they continue to work hard in the domestic competition with a view to getting back in the squad.

“It is a pleasing situation to be in. We have competition for places right across the team and every player knows that they have to perform week in, week out if they are going to be part of the England programme.

“Every match counts as we continue the build-up to next year’s Rugby League World Cup and with the increasing number of high quality players emerging across Super League, and not forgetting our Australian based players in the NRL, we have a bright future at international level.”

The squad will meet up at their Loughborough base on Monday and McNamara will announce his team to face the Exiles next Thursday.


England squad to face the Exiles at Langtree Park, Saturday June 16, kick off 6.45pm, in full is:

(Professional club and community club):


Carl Ablett

Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Parkside

Ryan Atkins

Warrington Wolves, Stanningley

Tom Briscoe

Hull FC, Featherstone Lions

Danny Brough

Huddersfield Giants, Eastmoor Dragons

Rob Burrow

Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions

Garreth Carvell

Warrington Wolves, Stanningley

Josh Charnley

Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks

Rangi Chase

Castleford Tigers, Dannevirke Tigers

Eorl Crabtree

Huddersfield Giants, Huddersfield YMCA

Leroy Cudjoe

Huddersfield Giants, Newsome Panthers

Ryan Hall

Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders

Gareth Hock

Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Judes

Jamie Jones-Buchanan

Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley

Lee Mossop

Wigan Warriors, Hensingham

Sean O’Loughlin

Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks

Jamie Peacock (captain)

Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley

James Roby

St Helens, Blackbrook

Kevin Sinfield

Leeds Rhinos, Waterhead

Danny Tickle

Hull FC, Golborne Parkside

Sam Tomkins

Wigan Warriors. Wigan St Patricks

Jon Wilkin

St Helens, East Hull


England Knights Squad to face Ireland at Langtree Park, Saturday June 16, kick off 4.30pm, in full is

(Professional club and community club):


Jodie Broughton

Salford City Reds, Queens

Chris Clarkson

Leeds Rhinos, East Leeds

Paul Clough

St Helens, Blackbrook

Mike Cooper

Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion

Rhys Evans

Warrington Wolves, Burtonwood Bulldogs

Liam Farrell

Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats

Dale Ferguson

Huddersfield Giants, Featherstone Lions

Mark Flanagan

St Helens, Saddleworth Rangers

Lee Gaskell

St Helens, Blackbrook

Zak Hardaker

Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions

Josh Hodgson

Hull KR, Hull Dockers

Danny Houghton

Hull FC, East Hull

Ben Jones-Bishop

Leeds Rhinos, Queens

Jonny Lomax

St Helens, Orrell St James

Shaun Lunt

Leeds Rhinos, Ellenborough Rangers

Jermaine McGillvary

Huddersfield Giants, Deighton Juniors

Larne Patrick

Huddersfield Giants, Townville Tigers

Stefan Ratchford

Warrington Wolves, Wigan St Patricks

Chris Riley

Warrington Wolves, Woolston Rovers

Matty Smith

Salford City Reds, Blackbrook

Scott Taylor

Hull KR, Skirlaugh

Liam Watts

Hull KR, Featherstone Lions

Gary Wheeler

St Helens, Blackbrook Royals


Tickets for the opening International Origin Game of 2012 at Langtree Park, St Helens, on Saturday June 16 (6.45pm) cost from £18 (£9 concessions) for standing and £21 (£10 concessions) seating and are available or by contacting the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113


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