England Knights see off Jamaica

Matty Ashton in action for England Knights

Matty Ashton of England Knights after the game

The Knights are in theory England’s back-up team but coach Paul Anderson used the fixture to take a look at the players who might well feature at the 2025 World Cup, fielding a team with an average age of 21, and he will be greatly encouraged by their 56-4 victory.

Among those to impress was stand-off Will Pryce, the 18-year-old son of former Great Britain international Leon Pryce, who scored 18 points with one of his side’s 10 tries and seven goals from eight attempts to win the man-of-the-match award.

Pryce’s half-back partner Mikey Lewis also caught the eye, as did pacy full-back Matty Ashton.

The Reggae Warriors, who have qualified for the 2021 World Cup, were well below full strength but demonstrated no shortage of courage.

They went close to opening the scoring when prop Ross Peltier was held up over the line and the game’s first points came against the run of play as centre Jack Broadbent pounced on a pass by Jamaica captain Jordan Turner and sprinted 90 metres for an interception try.

Captain Danny Walker, the Warrington hooker, added another from dummy half and Pryce kicked his second conversion to make it 12-0 after 17 minutes.

The Knights had prop George Lawyer sin-binned midway through the first half for a high tackle on full-back James Woodburn-Hall and Jamaica took advantage of the extra man, with former Leeds winger Ben Jones-Bishop forcing his way over for a try.

Pryce then showed his class to score a solo try and England crucially added further tries either side of half-time to strengthen their hold on the game.

Replacement hooker Aaron Smith dummied his way over on the stroke of half-time and Broadbent grabbed his second after Turner spilled the ball from Lewis’ kick to start the second half.

It became a procession when second rower Ellis Longstaff touched down Pryce’s grubber kick on the last tackle and full-back Matty Ashton scorched over from 50 metres.

Ashton finished off a slick handling move for his second try and Smith also scored his second before centre Connor Wrench sliced through a tiring defence for the Knights’ 10th try.

Jamaica will now turn their thoughts towards their international against Scotland at Featherstone on Sunday week.