England Academy coach Andy Kelly has selected his 17-man squad to represent their country when they take on Australian Schoolboys on Sunday July 31 (2.00pm AEST) Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe, Queensland.
The squad are into their third week in Australia and have been preparing well on the Gold Coast at the Super Sports Centre in Runaway Bay. Last week saw all players take to the field in a warm-up against Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium – England ran out 28-22 winners and Kelly knew selection would be hard this week.
“I’ve got a squad of 23 fantastic players, selection is always going to be difficult when everyone is determined to play,” said Kelly.
“We’ve looked at this game, it’s the first Test against Australia and we want to get off to the best start and make sure we’re not the team under the pump going into next week.
“It’s going to be tough and tense out there on Sunday. We’ll be going stride for stride and blow for blow making sure we’re the more composed team.”
England Academy 17-man squad (professional club and community club in brackets):
Lewis Heckford (Wigan Warriors, Stanley Rangers), Liam Paisley (Wigan Warriors, Dalton), Liam Walsh (Widnes Vikings, Halton and Farnworth Hornets), Joe Wardill (City of Hull Academy, Beverley Braves), Matthew Costello (St Helens, Orrell St James), Morgan Smith (Warrington Wolves, Stanley Rangers), Rob Fairclough (St Helens, Blackbrook Royals), Matthew English (Huddersfield Giants, Stanley Rangers), Josh Ganson (Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook Royals), Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors), James Batchelor (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Oulton Raiders), Cameron Smith (Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Panthers), Jack Wells (Wigan Warriors, Folly Lane), Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings, Cornfields), Brad Walker (Widnes Vikings, Askam), Conor Fitzsimmons (Castleford Tigers, Seaton Rangers), Caine Barnes (Wigan Warriors, Seaton Rangers)
Australia Schoolboys 17-man squad:
Nic Cotric (Erindale College), Mawene Hiroti (Matraville Sports High School), Zac Lomax (Figtree High School), Tuimavave Afualo (Westfields Sports High School), Campbell Graham (Marcellin Collge Randwick), Lachlan Lam (Marcellin College Randwick), Sean O’Sullivan (Patrician Brothers’ College Blacktown), Pasami Saulo (Hunter Sports High School), Blake Brailey (Aquinas Catholic College Menai), Thomas Mikaele (Keebra Park State High School), Brodie Jones (All Saints College Maitland), Josh Curran (Patrician Brothers’ College Blacktown), Sean Keppie (Westfields Sports High School), Dean Blore (The Hills Sports High School), Reece Robson (Endeavour Sports High School), Payne Haas (Keebra Park State High School), Michael Tupou (Patrician Brothers’ College Blacktown)