Big year for England prospects

The RFL’s Director of Performance and Coaching Jon Roberts has challenged England‘s young Super League stars to make a name for themselves in 2010.

With the Four Nations taking part Down Under at the end of this season and the World Cup less than four years away, the time is set for the finest English talent to establish themselves for a career on the international scene.

“This is a big year for every Engage Super League player, especially those who have ambitions to represent England in 2010 and the 2013 World Cup,” said Roberts.

“We are progressing well with details for the Four Nations to ensure we get all the specifics right for a performance environment. We want to build on what was achieved in 2009.

“For now our main focus is clearly on the recruitment of the new national coach and once that happens a lot of things will fall into place.

“Until then we will continue to work with the members of the Elite Training Squad (ETS) by looking at their development and giving them the support they require to meet their individual needs.”

There are currently 17 players in the ETS but more will be added over the course of the 2010 Engage Super League season once the new England coach is in place. The vast majority of the England squad that flies out for New Zealand in early October will be drawn from the ETS.

England remain without a coach following the departure of Tony Smith following the 2009 Four Nations final defeat to Australia. They open up their 2010 campaign against New Zealand on October 23, before games against Australia (October 31) and Papua New Guinea (November 6) leading up to a possible final appearance at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on November 13.

2010 Four Nations dates confirmed

October 23: New Zealand v England, Westpac Stadium, Wellington.
October 24: Australia v Papua New Guinea, Parramatta Stadium
October 30: New Zealand v Papua New Guinea, International Stadium, Rotorua.
October 31: Australia v England, Melbourne (venue tbc).
November 6: England v Papua New Guinea, Eden Park, Auckland.
November 6: New Zealand v Australia, Eden Park, Auckland.
November 13: Final, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

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