Second Monaghan gets Exiles call

Warrington hooker Michael Monaghan is the latest selection by Brian McClennan for the Exiles squad to face England at Headingley on June 20.

Monaghan joins his brother Joel, as well as other Warrington team-mates Louis Anderson, Brett Hodgson and Matt King, in the 22-man squad.

“I am delighted to be part of the Exiles squad,” said Monaghan.

“It is an honour to be joining my brother Joel and teammates from Warrington in the squad. When I look at the players available to coach Brian McClennan, it is quite frightening how strong the squad is and we will give the England boys a real test at Headingley in June.

“The sport needs a match like this so the best English players can experience high intensity competition away from the rigours of the weekly Super League competition. More exposure at the top end of competition will only enhance England’s chances in the Four Nations later in the year and at future tournaments.

“What I love about the concept is that fans, players and coaches are talking about this game all the time and it seems to have captured everyone’s imagination. To get the fans involved is a good marketing ploy and I’m sure every England fan will want to be at Headingley in June to be part of the first ever game.”

Monaghan will certainly give the Exiles options with the ability to play a key role in two positions. The former Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and Canberra Raiders star is equally adept in the hooking role as well as having first-hand experience as a top class half-back in the NRL. These attributes have clearly impressed Exiles coach Brian McClennan, who is excited at the prospect of working with another top class professional.

“I have selected Michael because he has the perfect skills to be a key player in a representative squad,” said the Exiles coach.

“He is one of the form players in the Engage Super League and is pivotal to Warrington’s success as one of the top teams in the league.

“I also like the fact that he is hungry to succeed and be part of the first ever Exiles squad.

“He will be a strong character to have around camp and understands what it takes to be successful at the highest level. We are blessed to have some great organisers in the squad and with Michael’s experience and general nous around the ruck area, or wider out in a half back role, it gives me options, which is a great position to be in.”

To mark the inaugural fixture between England and the Exiles, the RFL’s kit supplier ISC have designed a distinctive black, yellow, green and white strip for the Exiles. Fans can buy the new shirt from May 12 by logging onto www.rugbyleagueonline.co.uk

Details of Exiles squad are below:

Danny Buderus (captain) (Leeds Rhinos & Australia), Thomas Leuluai (vice captain, Wigan Warriors & New Zealand), Louis Anderson (Warrington Wolves & New Zealand), George Carmont (Wigan Warriors & New Zealand), Rangi Chase (Castleford Tigers & New Zealand), David Fa’alogo (Huddersfield Giants & New Zealand), David Faiumu (Huddersfield Giants & New Zealand), Craig Fitzgibbon (Hull FC & Australia), Brett Hodgson (Warrington Wolves & Australia), Matt King (Warrington Wolves & Australia), Kylie Leuluai (Leeds Rhinos & New Zealand), Steve Menzies (Catalan Dragons & Australia), Joel Monaghan (Warrington Wolves & Australia), Michael Monaghan (Warrington Wolves & Australia),  Luke O’Donnell (Huddersfield Giants & Australia), Mark O’Meley (Hull FC & Australia), Tony Puletua (St Helens & New Zealand), Pat Richards (Wigan Warriors & Australia), Iosia Soliola (St Helens & New Zealand).

In a unique concept to British sport, the initial 34-strong squad was reduced to 22, in part by public selection. Over 10,000 fans have registered and made their initial selections. This marked the first time in UK sporting history that the public chose a team, with fans having the chance to select 13 of the 22 squad members to face England. The remaining nine selections will be made by the Exiles coaching staff.

Pre-purchased tickets for the International Origin match start from £19 for adults and £12 for concessions and are available at www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.ukor by contacting the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113. Tickets purchased on the day of the match start from £22 for adults and £15 for concessions.

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