Woollybacks confirm squad for Red Star clash – and Torfaen are ready for Distington

MILLOM have announced a 22-man squad for Sunday’s keenly-awaited Coral Challenge Cup first round tie with Red Star Belgrade.

The squad will be whittled down to 17 players tomorrow (Saturday).      The hopefuls, with pen pics, are:

Ross Brookes – Fullback aged 28. Had brief spell with Barrow Raiders and has played in NCL premier with Egremont. Elusive player who pushes well around middle looking for the offload.

Niall Harris – Winger aged 21. Plays well above his size good work rate with ball.

Tyler Lancaster – Centre aged 19. Ex Warrington and England academy player, With Barrow raiders U19s and has represented England Colleges against Aussie School Boys. Good all round player with plenty of potential to progress in the game.

Chris Warren – Centre aged 28. Cumbria and BARLA honours good work rate with plenty of experience, good in both attack and defence.

Owen Myers – Winger aged 20. Cumbria and BARLA u17s honours. Quick player can also play in the half’s.

Jonathon Hodgson – Half back aged 23. 2018 MRLFC Players’ Player, Cumbria honours, good all round attacking player can also play at loose.

Adam Kelly – Scrum half aged 28 (Club captain), Cumbria honours, and a great leader controls the game well with good kicking game.

Ethan Kelly – Prop aged 23, Cumbria and BARLA honours. MRLFC 2018 Player of Year. Nominated for NCL3 Player of Year. Just back from injury which forced him to miss the BARLA tour to Fiji. Good player to have back from injury. Plays a lot of minutes for prop and scores tries.

Noah Robinson – Hooker aged 22. Ex Salford Academy player. Sharp around ruck and very aggressive.

Dane Kelly – Prop aged 29. Vice-captain. County honours. Always gives everything. The oldest of the 3 Kelly brothers.

Joseph Wright – Second Row aged 22. County honours. Solid all round player with good work rate.

Dominic O’Brien – Second row aged 20. Ex Cumbria Storm academy player strong in defence and attack.

Hanley Dawson – Loose Forward aged 22. Vice-captain. Ex Gloucester All Golds player. Very talented player and a leader on the park. Can play anywhere with plenty of experience at 22.

Anthony Dixon – Utility aged 35. Pakistan and BARA honours. Back after a year out with lots of experience.

Charlie Emslie – Forward aged 18. County and Scotland u19 honours. With Barrow Raiders U19’s has played in two 1st team games against Oldham and Whitehaven. Great future ahead.

Paul Carter – Prop aged 34. County and NCL Eagles honours. Aggressive and will make impact of the bench.

Luke Brady – Prop aged 29. Another big impact player with good go-forward.

Kyle Evans – Half back/Hooker. With Barrow Raiders U19’s plays well above his size and always gives 100 per cent.

Connor Terrill – Prop aged 17. Scotland U19s honours and another one with Barrow Raiders U19s. Gained lots of experience with our first team in his first season last year.

Ricky Donaghue – Half back/Centre aged 28. County honours. Good organising skills, sharp with ball and good Kicking game.

Tom Sibley – Utility forward aged 35. Player/Coach, County, England Lion hearts and BARLA honours. Very experienced and respected by all.

Joe Shaw – Utility aged 30. Good all round player aggressive in defence.

Meanwhile, Torfaen Tigers have completed their preparation for Saturday’s long trip to Cumbria to face Distington writes Ian Golden.

The Tigers, who finished runners up in the Welsh Premier League last year, and are now set to compete in the new RFL-run Southern Conference League, know that the going will be tough, especially with a 300-mile journey before they step off the bus. The Cumbrians reached the third round of the Challenge Cup last year before being knocked out by Coventry Bears.

It’s the fourth season in a row that Wales’ community representatives have been presented with an away tie and the second time in four years that they’ve been presented with a trip to Cumbria.

Distington, a small village with a population of around 4,000, is just three miles south of Workington and four miles north of Whitehaven, so are certain to pull in a few fans from both of those professional clubs.

Tigers’ coach Matthew Cummings said: “We’re looking forward to it. It’s the first chance we’ve had to play in the Challenge Cup for a few years, London Chargers was our last one in 2014 where we narrowly lost, so it’s good to be back. The boys are up for it, we had a good competitive training session with West Wales Raiders last Sunday, so we’re ready to go.

“We’ve been back in training since the start of the month, but the Raiders session gave us a chance to put a bit of physicality in there, run through a few shapes and get closer to a game situation.

“We know Distington are going to be good and well-trained and they’ll be completely rugby league orientated when most of our lads play both codes. We’ve a few players missing as some of our boys play a high level of rugby union in the winter, but the pack is pretty much the same as played in last year’s final and competed all last season.

“We’re as unknown to them as they are to us, so it’ll be an interesting match-up.”

Distington v Torfaen Tigers will be Wales’ 80th game in the famous competition that started in 1896. It is world rugby’s oldest surviving knockout competition.