England Youth coach Stuart Barrow has named an 18-man squad for the one-off youth Test against Wales at Taff Wells RFC, Cardiff, on Saturday August 30 (6.00pm). The squad has been picked from the initial 35-player England Youth pool, with a mix of those yet to feature this season and those who played in the two-Test series against France over the Easter period.
There are nine clubs represented - three players from St Helens, three from Warrington Wolves, two from Leeds Rhinos, Widnes Vikings and Wigan Warriors and one each from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, London Broncos, Hull FC, Huddersfield Giants – plus players from North East Regional Academy and the Cumbria Regional Academy.
“Over the last two years we have found the games against Wales really tough, so it will be a good test,” said Barrow. “The players have all been through the system this year, so they know all the plans, patterns and styles of play and now is a great chance for them to play under pressure against a very good Wales team.
“Wales bring a lot of physicality, passion and pride, especially when they play at home with the fan base they have there. “A lot more of their players are now involved in scholarships with Super League clubs – for example there will be some Warrington and St Helens players turning out for Wales. They bring a lot of experience and expertise, so they will be a tough challenge for us.”
England Youth will be looking to build on their successful trip to France earlier in the year, when they won the first Test before losing the second after losing three players to injury in the first half.
“France was a really good trip and it was just a shame that in the second Test we got three injuries in the first half,” said Barrow. “But the lads coped really well in a tough environment and there was a lot of development that took place across the week.
“I think the players all stood up absolutely brilliantly – they have got a good mentality for the big game and as a group they stuck in together, which was good. “The players have a lot of pride in their shirt and a lot of pride when representing the country.”
The England Youth squad to face Wales is as follows
(professional and community clubs shown in brackets)
Brad Clavering (Hull FC, Skirlaugh)
Brad Walker (RFL Cumbria Regional Academy, Askam)
Conor Fitzsimmons (RFL Cumbria Regional Academy, Seaton Rangers)
Carl Keoghan (St Helens, Widnes St Maries)
Charlie Phythian (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion)
Chris Follin (St Helens, Thatto Heath Crusaders)
Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings, Crosfields)
George Moore (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion)
Izaac Farrell (Huddersfield Giants, Newsome Panthers)
Jake Woods (RFL North East Regional Academy, Cramlington Rockets)
Jonathan Cameron (RFL Cumbria Regional Academy, Seaton Rangers)
Lewis Bienek (London Broncos, Charlton Gunners)
Liam Walsh (Widnes Vikings, Halton Farnworth Hornets)
Patrick Casey (Wigan Warriors, Oldham St Annes)
Rob Fairclough (St Helens, Blackbrook)
Rory Dixon (Leeds Rhinos, Normanton Knights)
Sam Brady (Wigan Warriors, Widnes Moorfield)
Will Dagger (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Castleford Panthers)