Marshall backs England Academy to bounce back against Australia

England Academy coach Richard Marshall believes that his team can resore some pride when they meet the Australian Schoolboys in the second test at Leigh on Friday.

The Academy team lost the first test 22-18 at the weekend, but Marshall is confident that his players have learned from the experience.

“There are a lot of positives we can take away from the last test and the lads have come up with a plan for this week of how they can play better, they are in a good mind-set,” said the coach.

“The Schoolboys were stronger defensively and they hurt us in and around the ruck so that is something we have been working on in training.

“I want the boys to go out there with confidence and enjoy it but they also need to play smart, they must be completing every single time.

2Unfortunately we will be without Nick Gregson, who was carried off the field last week and also some of the other Wigan boys, including Oliver Gildart, have been called to their training camp in Florida.

“It’s disappointing but we have the numbers and it will give other players the chance to prove themselves. I am confident it won’t cause too much upheaval.”

Marshall does feel, however, that with more time with his squad he could achieve much better results. He also wants to see more test matches played at junior level.

“I would love to have more access to these players, I understand there are constraints but just to have them in camp for a few weeks has been fantastic,” he explained.

“I’d love for there to be more camps and more international games for them to play in. Another Test series like this in a few years Down Under would be great.

“My aim is to produce quality players who can advance into the Elite Training Squad and play for Steve McNamara.”

England Academy take on the Australian Schoolboys on Friday 12 December at Leigh Sports Village (7.00pm). This is a pay on the door event – £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.

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