England Knights performance squad named with eight new faces included

England Knights head coach Paul Anderson has named a 27-man performance squad for this year.

Players from nine Super League clubs are included in the squad, for promising talent outside of Shaun Wane’s current England set-up.

Eight players have been called up for the first time, including St Helens pair Jake Wingfield and Jon Bennison.

There are also two new Wigan Warriors players in the form of Matty Nicholson and Brad O’Neill.

Hull FC’s Jack Brown, Hull KR’s Jez Litten, Leeds Rhinos’ Liam Tindall and Warrington Wolves’ Josh Thewlis also receive their first call-ups.

The Knights are yet to arrange any matches for this year but discussions are underway with a view to playing fixtures ahead of this autumn’s World Cup.

There are also no full training sessions planned, though three meetings will be held this summer “where England performance standards will be discussed”.

Anderson said: “Most of these players have come through the England Pathways programme, which is all about investing in the future of England Rugby League.

“Our job is to prepare our future full internationals for the next step – the senior international team.

“The Knights is about developing talent, preparing well and competing hard. With that in mind, we want as many as possible to come through our talent pathway and force themselves in contention for England selections, and ultimately win World Cups.”

England Knights squad:
Matty Ashton (Warrington Wolves), Jon Bennison (St Helens), Jack Broadbent (Leeds Rhinos), Jack Brown (Hull FC), Matty English (Huddersfield Giants), Morgan Gannon (Leeds Rhinos), Sam Halsall, Ethan Havard (both Wigan Warriors), Tom Holroyd (both Leeds Rhinos), Jordan Lane (Hull FC), Mikey Lewis, Jez Litten (both Hull KR), Ellis Longstaff (Warrington Wolves), James McDonnell, Matty Nicholson, Brad O’Neill, Oliver Partington (all Wigan Warriors), Will Pryce (Huddersfield Giants), Harry Smith, Morgan Smithies (both Wigan Warriors), Josh Thewlis (Warrington Wolves), Liam Tindall (Leeds Rhinos), Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers), Danny Walker (Warrington Wolves), Matt Whitley (Catalans Dragons), Jake Wingfield (St Helens), Connor Wrench (Warrington Wolves)