England Academy v Australian Schoolboys preview

England Academy coach Richard Marshall is happy with the way his squad have come together this week and is preparing them for a physical battle against the Australian Schoolboys on Saturday at Leigh Sports Village (2.00pm).

The Schoolboys have already played warm-up games against an England Regional Academies team, Wigan Warriors Academy and Leeds Rhinos Academy and go into the first test with a 100 per cent record.

“I attended the Wigan and Leeds games. They were very lively and I thought the home sides made a good fist of it,” said Marshall.

“Australia are a big, powerful side. This is something we are going to have to match on Saturday.

“We will be keeping an eye on what they might throw at us down the middle. They also have some dangerous players in the outside backs that will need taking care of too.

“It’s important that we defend strongly. If they want to score then we’re going to make it very difficult for them.”

This is the squad’s first week in camp and Marshall is pleased with the way the players have bonded and taken to his style of play. He has seen some promising young talent in training and firmly believes they are on the right path to represent the first team in the future.

“The mood in camp is fantastic and we are starting to build on each other’s trust and honesty as the days go on,” said Marshall.

“There is a natural pathway for these players to progress on to the England Knights, then the Elite Training Squad and then hopefully make their debut for the England senior team. This path has been trodden and proven.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge against the Australian Schoolboys and I think it’ll be a great atmosphere at Leigh. We’ll put on a good show for all the fans.”

England Academy squad: Ash Golding (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders) Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos, Stanley Rangers) Callum Lancaster (Hull FC, East Hull) Elliot Minchella (Leeds Rhinos, West Bowling) Jack Johnson (Warrington Wolves, Saddleworth Rangers) Jake Shorrocks (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks) Jansin Turgut (Hull FC, West Hull) Joe Keyes (London Broncos, Medway Dragons) Jordan Abdul (Hull FC, Skirlaugh) Liam Johnson (Huddersfield Giants, Newsome Panthers) Luke Waterworth (Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge) Mikey Wood (Huddersfield Giants, Slaithwaite Saracens) Nick Gregson (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks) Oliver Davies (St Helens, Orrell St James) Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks) Robbie Ward (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders) Sam Wilde (Warrington Wolves, Shevington Sharks) Ted Chaplehow (Widnes Vikings, West Bank Bears) Toby King (Warrington Wolves, Meltham All Blacks) Tyler Dickinson (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)