The England Knights Performance Squad was named last week but there are no fixtures in place just yet so we want to know who you think they should face first.
On paper, Paul Anderson’s 25-man Knights squad is very impressive, with the likes of Kruise Leeming, Jake Connor, Jack Walker, Oliver Gildart, Danny Richardson and Matt Whitley all being included.
Two sessions in the first phase for the KPS will build-up to the mid-season Test against New Zealand alongside the Elite Performance Squad.
But there are no international fixtures scheduled for the Knights this year, but discussions appear to be ongoing.
There have been rumours floating around that they will have a three-match Test series against Papua New Guinea. This would certainly attract the crowd numbers in Port Moresby and if any of the games were staged in England, they would also attract good numbers because the Kumuls seemed to be a lot of peoples ‘second teams’ in last year’s World Cup!
Or could we see the Knights face off against 2017 World Cup semi-finalists Tonga or Fiji? Both teams would provide a very strong test for Anderson’s men and it would be a good experience for the younger players to experience atmospheres in Tonga and Fiji.
There has also been some talk about whether a ‘mini’ four nations would be good, with the Knights, Ireland, Scotland and Wales all being involved.
But would this attract good crowds? The Wolfhounds, Bravehearts and Dragons would want to face the England senior side and a game between England’s ‘A’ team and Scotland, for example, would be extremely difficult to market.
Ireland enjoyed a fantastic 2017 World Cup campaign, winning two out of their three games, so they would prove to be a big challenge against the Knights while Scotland and Wales didn’t have the best of tournaments.
What about France? The Knights could do a tour of France and could play in Perpignan, Toulouse and Avignon.
England’s elite side faced France in a Four Nations warm-up match in 2016 and the Parc des Sports in Avignon attracted a crowd of 14,276. There is a good appetite for Rugby League in France and this could sell.
England Knights Performance Squad:
Greg Minikin (Castleford Tigers)
Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers)
Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield Giants)
Josh Bowden (Hull FC)
Jake Connor (Hull FC)
Dean Hadley (Hull FC)
Masimbaashe Matongo (Hull FC)
Jamie Shaul (Hull FC)
Chris Atkin (Hull KR)
Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos)
Jack Walker (Leeds Rhinos)
James Cunningham (London Broncos)
Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors)
Tom Davies (Wigan Warriors)
Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors)
Sam Powell (Wigan Warriors)
Ryan Sutton (Wigan Warriors)
Niall Evalds (Salford Red Devils)
Danny Richardson (St Helens)
Luke Thompson (St Helens)
Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity)
Jack Hughes (Warrington Wolves)
Tom Gilmore (Widnes Vikings)
Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings)
Matt Whitley (Widnes Vikings)
What do you think? Who should England Knights face first? Let us know in the comments below.