Wigan quintet named in England Knights squad for Jamaica clash

Wigan duo Harry Smith and Morgan Smithies are two of five Warriors players named in the England Knights 19-man squad for this weekend’s clash against Jamaica.

Paul Anderson’s side take on the Reggae Warriors at Headingley on Sunday, and Smith and Smithies have been selected after starring for England’s Academy against the Australian Schoolboys last Autumn.

They are joined by club team-mates Joe Greenwood, Ollie Partington and Sam Powell, while fellow England Academy star Harry Newman has also made the cut.

Three Leeds players will be hoping to impress on home territory, as Newman is joined by Mikolaj Oledzki and Cameron Smith.

Jack Ashworth and Niall Evalds, who were on opposite sides in Saturday’s Betfred Super League Grand Final, will team up with the Knights.

Ashworth’s Saints team-mate Danny Richardson is also included – as is Greg Minikin, who is leaving Castleford for Hull KR.

That means 10 of the 12 clubs in Betfred Super League in 2019 are represented, with Josh Bowden selected from Hull FC, Matty English, Kruise Leeming and Darnell McIntosh from Huddersfield Giants, Toby King and Tom Lineham from Warrington Wolves and Rob Butler from London Broncos.

Knights Head Coach Paul Anderson said: I think this squad shows why it was so important for the Knights to play this autumn.

“You can see from the Great Britain squad selected yesterday how much guys like Jack Hughes and Joe Philbin benefited from going to Papua New Guinea with the Knights last year.

“The other part of the pathway is young players such as Harry Newman, Harry Smith and Morgan Smithies coming up from the Academy after outstanding performances against the Australian Schoolboys last autumn, and then building on that with their club performances this season.

“The average age of the squad is only 22, and 12 of the 19 will be hoping to win their first Knights cap. That makes it an exciting squad to be around, and with attractive opposition in Jamaica, we hope Rugby League supporters will be keen to watch our next generation in international action next weekend.”

Jamaica named a 20-man squad last week for a fixture which is part of their preparations for their debut in the Rugby League World Cup in England in 2021, after they secured qualification by beating the United States in Jacksonville last autumn.

England Knights 19-man squad: Jack Ashworth, Danny Richardson (both St Helens); Josh Bowden (Hull FC); Rob Butler (London Broncos); Niall Evalds (Salford Red Devils); Joe Greenwood, Ollie Partington, Sam Powell, Harry Smith, Morgan Smithies (all Wigan Warriors); Toby King, Tom Lineham (both Warrington Wolves); Kruise Leeming, Darnell McIntosh, Matty English (all Huddersfield Giants); Greg Minikin (Castleford Tigers); Harry Newman, Mikolaj Oledzki, Cameron Smith (all Leeds Rhinos)

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