England Knights head coach Paul Anderson has named 17 players who will take on Papua New Guinea in Lae this Saturday, October 27 (KO 6.00am BST).
Salford Red Devils full-back Niall Evalds is selected for Saturday’s opener after an impressive season which saw him finish as the Club’s top try-scorer.
Following their impressive displays for England Men’s Elite squad against France last week, Castleford Tigers’ second row Oliver Holmes, Liam Sutcliffe of Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR’s Robbie Mulhern are all included in the squad.
Knights Captain Jack Hughes is joined by Warrington Wolves’ team mates Toby King, Tom Lineham, Joe Philbin and Declan Patton, who was called up to the squad as a late addition.
Named as vice-captain alongside Mulhern, Wigan Warriors’ Sam Powell is joined by Grand Final winning winger Tom Davies in the side to take on the Kumuls this weekend.
Young Player of the Year nominee Matty Lees is also named Kruise Leeming of Huddersfield Giants. Hull KR half-back Chris Atkin and Wakefield Trinity’s James Batchelor.
Hull FC have two representatives in the side, loose forward Dean Hadley and utility forward Brad Fash.
On Thursday, the Knights fly to Lae for the first match against the Kumuls on Saturday, October 27 before moving to the capital Port Moresby where the teams meet again at the 15,0000-capacity Oil Search National Football Stadium on November 3. England Knights squad to face PNG in full:
Salford Red Devils forward Tyrone McCarthy has been named in the 30-man train-on squad for Ireland for the forthcoming European Championships, which doubles as qualifiers for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.
The top two nations will earn spots in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup while the bottom two will compete in a further qualification group in 2019 which will include Italy, either Norway or Greece and the top two nations in European B, which will be decided this weekend.
McCarthy was a staple in the Red Devils side throughout the 2017 scoring four tries. McCarthy featured for Ireland in last year’s Rugby League World Cup where defeat to Papua New Guinea prevented them a spot in the quarter-finals. Ireland’s 35-man train-on squad is as follows:
Sean O’Sullivan, Connor Smyth (Athy Sharks), Michael Ward (Batley Bulldogs) Chris Hall, Connor Phillips (Belfast Stags), Joe Keyes, Gregg McNally, Ethan Ryan (Bradford Bulls RL), Peter Ryan (Coventry Bears RL/ Galway tribesmen), Aaron Ryan (Dublin City Exiles) Ryan Guilfoyle, Ed O’Keefe, Roy Stanley (Galway Tribesmen), Ronan Michael (Huddersfield Giants RL /Longhorns RL), Lewis Bienek (Hull FC), Api Pewhairangi (London Broncos RL), Andrew Coade, Matt Connelly, Gareth Gill, Richie McHugh, James Mulvany, Kevin Varga (Longhorns RL), Tyrone McCarthy (Salford Red Devils), James Bentley (St Helens), Will Hope (Swinton Lions), Liam Finn, Scott Grix, Luke Hooley (Wakefield Trinity), George King, Pat Moran (Warrington Wolves), Alan McMahon (Waterford Vikings), Callum Mulkeen (West Wales Raiders), Callum O’Neill (Widnes Vikings) Liam Byrne, Declan O’Donnell (Wigan Warriors). The full European Championship fixtures are as follows: ROUND 1 – Saturday 27 October
Ireland v Scotland – Morton Stadium, Santry (kick off 2pm)
France v Wales – Stade Albert Domec, Carcassone (kick off 6pm) ROUND 2 – Friday 2 November
Scotland v Wales – Gala RFC, Galashiels, (kick off 7.30pm) Saturday 3 November
Ireland v France – Morton Stadium, Santry (kick off 2pm) ROUND 3 – Saturday 10 November
France v Scotland – Stade Albert Domec, Carcassone (kick off 6pm) Sunday 11 November
Wales v Ireland – Racecourse Ground, Wrexham (kick off 3pm)
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Today the Rugby Football League have confirmed that the England Knights will take on Papua New Guinea in a two-game series later this year.
The 24-man squad – which includes Salford Red Devils full-back Niall Evalds – will play against the Kumuls on Saturday 27th October in Lae before a second fixture in Port Moresby on 3rd November.
Following extensive planning alongside officials from Papua New Guinea, the squad will spend time at the state of the art training facilities of Brisbane Broncos in Australia before travelling to the island, where Rugby League is the national sport, for a two-game series against the 10th ranked side in the world who also progressed to the quarter-finals of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Rugby Football League Interim Chief Executive, Ralph Rimmer, said: “The England Knights programme is an integral part of our vision for a successful national team in the next four years and beyond.
“We were determined that we would create meaningful games and experiences that would test this squad of players and travelling to the other side of the world, to one of the most passionate and avid Rugby League nations on the planet will certainly do that.
“We are absolutely committed to creating an environment and selection of fixtures that give us the best chance of winning the World Cup in 2021 and 2025 and I have spoken to the coaches and players involved in the England Performance Unit and I know that they are all incredibly excited about the opportunity to test themselves later this year.” Following his selection Niall Evalds spoke to Salford Red Devils TV you can watch the full video below: