Drew’s views: Why have England announced their squad with no games planned?

England have confirmed their latest Elite Performance Squad but it’s pointless!

Wayne Bennett announced his latest 34-man England Elite Performance Squad on Monday and it includes several fresh faces.

Warrington Wolves duo Josh Charnley and Jack Hughes were named in the squad as well as Castleford Tigers pair Jake Trueman and Liam Watts. Hull KR forward Robbie Mulhern was promoted from the England Knights squad. 

It’s fantastic recognition for those players, who thoroughly deserve their call-up. Without trying to be disrespectful, it just seems pointless because there are no scheduled games.

Organisation is what lets rugby league down at times.

When is England’s next international fixture? Who knows, but we’ve actually announced an England squad with no fixtures scheduled in. It’s baffling. 

Only in rugby league would a squad be named of a team that doesn’t have any games in the diary.

I understand there are a few reasons why the squad has been named. Sport England fund elite rugby league, so it will probably seem like something has got to be going on to receive Sport England’s funding. 

But announcing a squad with no international fixtures planned seems like such a rugby league thing to do. It’s like a boxer entering a training camp when he hasn’t got a fight! What’s the point?

There is a Great Britain tour of the Southern Hemisphere coming up at the end of the year, where the Lions will face New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

It would make sense to announce a Great Britain Elite Performance Squad, rather than England. That way, it would create a bit of a buzz for the tour and it would get fans excited. 

It’d also be interesting to see which players would be selected from Wales, Scotland and Ireland. 

The majority of the England team will make up the Great Britain squad, but let’s give it the Lions feel rather than just announcing England squads. 

2019 is the year of the Great British and Irish Lions, not England. We need to put ourselves out there and promote the Lions, who actually have games coming up.

Just put it in perspective: England’s squad has been announced with no scheduled games, while we don’t know Great Britain’s side that are going on tour this autumn.

Once again, well done to those who have made the squad, it’s well-deserved – but let’s announce the Great Britain side instead! 

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