England Academy Head Coach Dave Elliott has named his 38 man squad for the 2011 season.
Elliott led the Academy side to an historic series victory over the Australian Schoolboys in 2010 and he will be hoping to emulate that success in 2011, when the Academy side travel to France for a Test series against their European counterparts.
Ten of Elliott’s 2010 squad have returned to the Academy fold for 2011 with Warrington Wolves providing the largest contingent of players, with six young Wolves selected for the squad.
Wigan Warriors, Bradford Bulls and St Helens have had five players each selected with Leeds Rhinos providing four members of the squad. Both Hull clubs and Harlequins have had two players each selected, with Salford City Reds and Castleford Tigers providing one player each.
“It’s great that 10 of the squad that played and beat the Aussies last year are still eligible for under 18 this season,” said Elliott. “But we’ve got a lot of new, talented young players who have come up from our youth programme and players who have forced their way into the squad after performing well in 2010, so it’s an exciting time for us.
“The series against France will be a big test because the French are constantly improving and some of our young players have never beaten France before. It will be a big incentive for them to secure a starting position and it’s a challenge for the older players to perform like they did last season.”
Despite leading the 2010 side to a famous series victory, Elliott is keen to focus his squad on the upcoming challenges rather than rely on the achievements of last season and he feels the atmosphere around the Academy set-up is helping take these young players to the next level.
“It was fantastic to beat Australia,” said Elliott. “But we need to put that to bed now and re-focus our minds on the next 12 months.
“It’s part of the players development to learn how to re-focus their goals and set themselves new targets and that’s what they all need to do because we know the French games will be tough.
“It’s also important that the players come into the England set-up with good behaviour and good values. A lot of our focus last year was to reinforce what it means to play for England and ensuring our players want to wear the England shirt at every level.
“We achieved that last year. The squad all had a real desire to play for England and I think we’re creating a good culture within our England set-up that breeds good performance, good preparation and good winners, which I think can only be for the good for the game.”
2011 England Academy 38 man Squad
John Bateman (Bradford Bulls)
Michael Bishay (Harlequins RL)
Daniel Bridge (Wigan Warriors)
Alex Brown (Widnes Vikings)
Greg Burke (Wigan Warriors)
Liam Carberry (Wigan Warriors)
Jordan Chase (St Helens)
Daryl Clark (Castleford Tigers)
Jack Cockerham (Bradford Bulls)
Ben Crookes (Hull FC)
Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves)
Ben Evans (Warrington Wolves)
Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves)
Thomas Gilmore (Widnes Vikings)
Bobbie Goulding (Warrington Wolves)
Robert Hawthorne (Bradford Bulls)
Daniel Jones (St Helens)
Josh Jones (St Helens)
Reece Lyne (Hull FC)
Liam McAvoy (Bradford Bulls)
Andrew Morris (Salford City Reds)
Adam O’Brien (Bradford Bulls)
Gene Ormsby (Warrington Wolves)
Jack Owens (Widnes Vikings)
Jay Rossi (Whitehaven RL)
Matthew Russell (Wigan Warriors)
Liam Salter (Hull KR)
Daniel Sarginson (Harlequins RL)
Declan Sephton-Hulme (Widnes Vikings)
Ryan Shaw (Warrington Wolves)
Louis Sheriff (Hull KR)
Brad Singleton (Leeds Rhinos)
Daniel Smith (Leeds Rhinos)
Jared Stewart (Leeds Rhinos)
Chris Taylor (Wigan Warriors)
Steve Ward (Leeds Rhinos)
Greg Wilde (St Helens)
Daniel Yates (St Helens)