Tag: Great Britain

JONES EARNS GREAT BRITAIN SELECTION

Salford Red Devils forward Josh Jones has been named in a 29-man Great Britain Performance Squad that will meet for the first time next week, to begin the preparations for this autumn’s first Rugby League Lions tour since 2006.
The 26-year-old joins Red Devils head coach Ian Watson in the Great Britain setup, after Watson was named as one of the assistants to Wayne Bennet, who will be head coach for the tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Watson said: “Josh has been outstanding in his performances this year and his selection is thoroughly deserved.
“Prior to the start of the season, we spoke about consistency and Josh fulfilling his potential.
“I believe he’s been Super League’s standout back-rower in 2019 and has had a massive impact on where we sit in the table.
“I hope now that Josh can make his international debut for Great Britain.”
Salford currently sit joint-third in the Betfred Super League table and are next in action on Friday night against Leeds Rhinos.
The Great Britain Performance Squad has been selected by a seven-man panel led by Bennett, alongside Watson and his fellow assistant coach Danny Ward, team manager and former GB captain Jamie Peacock and three more former GB tourists in Paul Anderson, Paul Sculthorpe and Paul Wellens.
The squad will gather in Leeds on Tuesday week (September 10), and training sessions will then begin during the Super League play-off series in early October.
Great Britain’s first appearance on the international stage since 2007 will be a first ever Test against Tonga in Hamilton, New Zealand on Saturday October 26.
That is followed by Tests against New Zealand on each of the next two Saturdays (at Auckland’s Eden Park on November 2, and Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch on November 9), before Great Britain conclude the tour in Port Moresby on November 16, a first Test in Papua New Guinea since 1996.
All four Tests will be shown live on the BBC, with extended highlights later in the day.
You can next see Jones in action at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 15th September, when Salford Red Devils host Hull KR. Click HERE to purchase tickets.
 
GB Rugby League Elite Performance Squad
Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers, West Bowling)
Liam Watts (Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Lions)
Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons, Wigan St Patricks)
Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants, Deighton Juniors)
Jake Connor (Hull FC, Siddal)
Jamie Shaul (Hull FC, Skirlaugh)
Scott Taylor (Hull FC, Skirlaugh)
Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Stevie Ward (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)
Jonny Lomax (St Helens, Orrell St James)
Tommy Makinson (St Helens, Wigan St Judes)
Mark Percival (St Helens, Halton Farnworth Hornets)
James Roby (St Helens, Blackbrook)
Luke Thompson (St Helens, Bold Miners)
Alex Walmsley (St Helens, Dewsbury Celtic)
Morgan Knowles (St Helens – Wales)
Lachlan Coote (St Helens – Scotland)
Josh Jones (Salford Red Devils, Blackbrook Royals)
Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity, Ideal Isberg)
Blake Austin (Warrington Wolves, Doonside Roos)
Josh Charnley (Warrington Wolves, Wigan St Patricks)
Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves, Fryston Warriors)
Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves, New Springs Lions)
Jack Hughes (Warrington Wolves, Golborne Parkside)
Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves, Culcheth Eagles)
Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves, Wigan St Patricks)
Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
George Williams (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

Great Britain return to face New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga

The iconic Great Britain jersey will return to the international stage this autumn.
The recent meeting of the Rugby League International Federation confirmed a four-match tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea for the Great Britain Rugby League Lions – with full details of the schedule to be released in Auckland tonight.
It will be the first time Great Britain have played since the home series against New Zealand in the autumn of 2007, and their first appearance in the southern hemisphere since the 2006 Tri-Series – reviving a tradition which dates back to 1910, when the first touring team after the 1895 Northern Union breakaway were known as the Lions.
In addition to two Tests against the Kiwis and one against the Kumuls – the latter a first in Papua New Guinea since 1996 – Great Britain will play their first ever Test against the Tonga team who made such an impact in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, including in a stirring semi final against England in Auckland.
Wayne Bennett, who has been the England coach since 2016, will be the head coach of the 2019 Rugby League Lions, with further details of his support staff, the composition of the squad and the selection process, the kit design, and kick-off times and travel packages for the tour to follow in coming weeks.
“It’s an honour to be involved in the revival of the Great Britain team as head coach,” said Bennett.
“I’ve coached against them in the past with Australia, and wherever you’re from in the world of Rugby League, that Great Britain jersey is a famous one – and I’m sure the current generation of players will be excited by the prospect of wearing it and representing their country in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
“It’s an exciting prospect for international Rugby League, and good to have that Great Britain tradition back.”
Ralph Rimmer, the chief executive of the Rugby Football League, said:“The return of the famous Great Britain jersey is something people have been talking about for a long time – so this is an exciting announcement for us.
“It’s 12 years since Great Britain last played a Test, and 13 since they last travelled to the southern hemisphere, for the Tri-Nations series of 2006.
“While the development of the England Performance Unit has been a priority and a success for the RFL, across Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Rugby League – and will continue to be as we build towards the 2021 Rugby League World Cup – there is such history and tradition around that Great Britain shirt.
“It’s great for the game to have it back, as part of the schedule drawn up by the RLIF also including the Oceania Cup. We’ll be committed to respecting and honouring that tradition as we build up to the tour through 2019.”
The announcement has also been welcomed by senior figures from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Barry Coade, Chairman of Rugby League Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Great Britain & Ireland will tour again this Autumn. The tour looks like a real challenge given the rise of the Pacific nations and we think this is a big step forward for international Rugby League.”
Keith Hogg, the Chair of Scotland Rugby League, said: “Having the Great Britain team back is a boost for all of the home nations. We are proud of the contribution made by Scots to Great Britain Rugby League in the past, most obviously when Dave Valentine lifted the World Cup in 1954, and this announcement is a great incentive for young Scottish players to maintain that tradition in the future.”
Paul Chambers, General Manager of Wales Rugby League, said: “Wales Rugby League fully embrace and support the first Great Britain Rugby League tour to the Southern Hemisphere for many years. The whole concept of the Rugby League Lions adds another dimension to the ambitions of players and staff involved with all Home Nations and Wales Rugby League are looking forward to promoting and being involved in the process.”

David Watkins MBE wins special award at Wales Sports Awards

Last night Salford Red Devils legend and all-time top points scorer David Watkins MBE received the Special Recognition Award at the Wales Sports Awards 2017.
Phil Bennett, when presenting the award, said: “This gentleman is up there at the very top.” 
Watkins featured for the Red Devils between 1967 and 1979 making over 400 appearances for the Club and racking up a staggering 2907 points while at The Willows.
The Welshman captained Salford in their last Challenge Cup final appearance against Castleford at Wembley in 1969 and also earned caps for both Wales and Great Britain. Watkins went on to finish his career with Swinton.
The Club legend was a star in both codes playing for Wales and the British and Irish Lions in Rugby Union after spells with several Welsh Rugby Union sides.
In the 1986 New Year Honours, Watkins was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to Rugby League.
Everyone at the Salford Red Devils would like to congratulate David Watkins on a most deserved award.