Widnes Vikings’ young duo Daniel Hill and Jacob Dugdale have been selected for England’s National Academy Performance Squad.
As part of the 43-man squad, the Vikings youngsters will take part in a number of training sessions prior to the Origin fixtures between Lancashire and Yorkshire later in the year, which will lead into England selection for their tour of New Zealand and Australia.
Vikings head of youth performance, Ryan O’Brien, commented: “It is great news for the club that Daniel and Jacob have been selected for the National Academy Performance Squad.
“Both players have been standout performers for our Academy throughout their time with the club, and have bright futures ahead here at the Vikings.
“Daniel and Jacob represented Lancashire last year and we’re hopeful they will go on to do the same again this year, which will allow them to showcase their ability ahead of England selection.”
FEATHERSTONE ROVERS duo Dale Ferguson and John Davies are edging closer to their returns from injury.
Ferguson, who has had a knee issue, could come into contention for the Challenge Cup tie with Barrow this weekend.
Davies is hoping to be available to face London Broncos the following week after his ankle reconstruction.
Coach James Webster said: “We haven’t had Ferguson, Davies or Brad Day for anything yet this year and they will be massive additions to the squad when they come back in.”
Backrower Day is unlikely to be available until June at the earliest.
YORK CITY KNIGHTS have strengthened their partnership with York St John University.
Knights’ first team manager and coaching staff member Will Leatt has been appointed head coach of the University’s men’s team.
After a significant recruitment drive the university team has won five games from as many matches to top their table after entering the BUCS Play League structure for the first time.
Knights coach James Ford has taken sessions alongside Leatt and captain Stephen Gibbs spent pre-season on trial with the professional club.
TOULOUSE OLYMPIQUE hooker Lloyd White missed Sunday’s trip to Sheffield Eagles through suspension.
The Welsh international was handed a two-match ban after receiving a grade C kicking charge following his red card in the opening weekend win over York.
He will also miss the trip to Whitehaven on March 1 before returning for the home clash with Batley the following weekend.
White’s absence from the squad on Sunday allowed Tony Maurel to return following his shoulder operation at the end of last season.
WHITEHAVEN outside back Brett Carter was back in contention again on Sunday following his pre-season hamstring problem.
Carter missed the opening Championship fixtures against Swinton and London after sustaining the injury in the Ike Southward Memorial Trophy game against Workington.
But he returned to training with Gary Charlton’s squad on Wednesday.
Glenn Riley (knee), Sam Dowsett (hamstring), Chris Taylor (knee) and Connor Holliday (hamstring) continue to be monitored, but Karl Dixon was back in the squad after being unavailable for London.
HALIFAX trio Reece Chapman-Smith, Will Calcott and Fraser Stroud all featured for Huddersfield Giants’ reserve team in their win over Salford on Friday.
The move is part of a link between the two clubs and Hunslet to provide fringe players from the Championship and League One clubs with game time when they are not in the first team.
Fax also had Giants duo Oliver Roberts and Oliver Wilson in their squad to face Dewsbury on Sunday, although the match was postponed.
Halifax have confirmed their fourth round Coral Challenge Cup tie against Sheffield Eagles will be played on Saturday at Belle Vue, Wakefield, kick off 2pm.
SWINTON LIONS’ fourth round Coral Challenge Cup clash with Leigh Miners Rangers will take place this Saturday, February 22, with a 3pm kick-off.
The two clubs have a host of links between them from recent seasons.
Swinton signed current players Frankie Halton and Louis Brogan from the amateur club, while coaches Stuart Littler and Allan Coleman are also from there.
Leigh Miners Rangers beat Bentley 20-4 at home to secure their passage through to the fourth-round of the competition.