England youngsters set to make their mark

England coach Tony Smith has named a young and experimental side for this month’s test match against France in Paris.

Smith, who went part-time after taking the Warrington job earlier this season, has called up three uncapped players in Wigan’s Sam Tomkins, Huddersfield’s Scott Moore and Leeds’ winger Ryan Hall.

There are also call ups for Harlequins youngster Tony Clubb, Salford’s Richie Myler and Castleford centre Michael Shenton, all of whom made their debuts in last autumn’s international against Wales.

Londoner Clubb, 21, only started playing Rugby League in his teens and says there is large crop of gifted young players out there.

“The talent in this country is amazing and I think England can achieve anything they want. The potential is enormous, especially when you look at all the young players that are rising through the ranks.

“I was quite a late developer and only switched from playing rugby union to rugby league when I was 14. When I look at the players in the Harlequins youth system I see several that are heaps better than I was at their age.”

His club coach, Brian McDermott, says he is a valuable asset to any team.

He said: “Tony has been very consistent for Harlequins this year, playing at centre, wing, second row and prop. For a young player like him to be picked for England once is good recognition, to then follow it up with another cap says an awful lot about Tony.”

The squad, which will be captained by Leeds forward Jamie Peacock, includes just seven players who featured in last year’s World Cup.

Coach Smith said: ““This is a squad featuring a lot of new and exciting faces as well as seasoned campaigners and gives a good blend of youth and experience.  It’s a big team that is full of speed and skill and people who can score tries.

““The players are chosen from a number of Super League clubs.  This I believe is a reflection of the form of some of the players and clubs at the moment and also underlines just how competitive Super League is this season.

“”This game against France will also be about looking at a number of new faces to see how they perform on the international stage with one eye on this autumn’s Four Nations.””

The squad includes 12 players under 25 and features players from 11 different clubs, including Wolves duo Adrian Morley and Ben Westwood.

The game takes place on Saturday June 13 at the Jean Bouin Stadium, Paris and marks Bobbie Goulding‘s first game in charge of the French national side.

England squad: Ryan Atkins (Wakefield), Sam Burgess (Bradford), Shaun Briscoe (Hull KR), Tony Clubb (Harlequins), Eorl Crabtree (Huddersfield), Peter Fox (Hull KR), James Graham (St Helens), Ryan Hall (Leeds), Gareth Hock (Wigan), Danny McGuire (Leeds), Scott Moore (Huddersfield, on loan from St Helens), Adrian Morley (Warrington), Richard Myler (Salford), Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan), Jamie Peacock (Leeds), James Roby (St Helens), Michael Shenton (Castleford), Sam Tomkins (Wigan), Ben Westwood (Warrington).

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