Olly Russell’s England Knights omission irks Ian Watson

Olly Russell Oliver Russell Huddersfield Giants England Knights

Huddersfield Giants head coach Ian Watson believes his half-back in Oliver Russell should have been selected in the recent England Knights performance squad.

Head coach Paul Anderson recently named his squad that will take on France ‘B’ and Scotland later this year, the latter as part of the Bravehearts’ World Cup preparations.

Huddersfield forwards Owen Trout and Oliver Wilson were new inclusions into the squad, while Will Pryce retained his place. 

However, Watson believes 23-year-old Russell should have been included alongside his team-mates. The half-back has made 21 appearances in the current Super League season, and featured in the Challenge Cup final defeat to Wigan.

“I think so personally,” Watson replied when asked if Russell should have been included.

“I think he’s been phenomenal this year and he’s really developed.

“If there’s a disappointment, it’s in and around Oliver Russell not being selected.

“We’ve actually spoken about this, and we just said he needs to keep his head down, keep working hard and hopefully that tide changes and people see what an influence he is on the Huddersfield team and what an influence he could be for England Knights going forward.

“If anyone deserves it over the last 18 months, Olly Russell should be in that squad.”

Oliver Russell disappointed not to make England Knights cut

Russell himself says he was disappointed to find out he hasn’t made Anderson’s squad. He was part of the Huddersfield side that defeated Castleford 36-10 just last week to secure their play-off spot for the first time since 2015.

“I’ll be honest, I’m pretty disappointed not to be involved in it,” Russell said.

“It is what it is. Obviously it’s not in Paul Anderson’s mind (to have me). I’ll just have to keep cracking on and maybe next year if I keep carrying on.

“I can’t really do anything about it. I just have to concentrate on my game and whatever happens, happens.”

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About Josh McAllister 1909 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

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