England performance pathways working well, insists Paul Anderson

Drew Darbyshire

England Knights coach Paul Anderson believes the country’s performance pathways are already proving fruitful.

The Knights concept was re-introduced last year as a new-look Performance Unit for England Rugby League. They went on a two-match Test tour of Papua New Guinea last year.

England’s senior side also brought in an Elite Performance Squad, which was full of England’s leading Super League players and then there remains England Academy, which is an Under-18s side of the country’s best young players.

Anderson has selected Leeds centre Harry Newman and Huddersfield prop Oliver Wilson in his revised Knights squad, with them both being part of the England Academy squad that claimed a 2-0 Test series win over the Australian Schoolboys last autumn.

The newly-formed Performance Units are working very well, according to Anderson.

He said: “It’s important that we revise the Knights squad on the basis of 2019 form, and it’s good that the guys now have the focus of the Jamaica game.

“All five new faces have earned their call-ups with their club performances in 2019 – Jordan Abdull and Rob Butler for London Broncos, Josh Bowden for Hull FC, Harry Newman for Leeds and Oliver Wilson for Bradford and Huddersfield.

“Harry and Oliver have moved quickly from the Academy squad who did so well last winter to the Knights set-up, and that’s exactly how we want our pathways to work.

“There’s so much exciting young talent in the domestic game, and I’m really looking forward to working with this group for the rest of the 2019.”

Paul Sculthorpe will continue to be Anderson’s assistant for the Knights Performance Squad, with the team playing a historic Test against Jamaica at Emerald Headingley on Sunday, October 20.

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