England Knights will travel to Papua New Guinea for a two-game series later this year.
As revealed in League Express several weeks ago, Paul Anderson’s side will travel to face the Kumuls in the cities of Lae and Port Moresby in what will be the first competitive games for the Knights since being re-established as part of the overhauled England Performance Unit.
The squad will first travel to Brisbane for a training camp, before heading to the island that captured the hearts of the sport’s community during the World Cup after hosting three games as part of last year’s tournament.
The first game will take place on October 27th in LAE, before going to Port Moresby, where PNG played their three World Cup group games, on November 3rd.
Rugby Football League Interim Chief Executive, Ralph Rimmer, said: “The England Knights programme is an integral part of our vision for a successful national team in the next four years and beyond.
“We were determined that we would create meaningful games and experiences that would test this squad of players and travelling to the other side of the world, to one of the most passionate and avid Rugby League nations on the planet will certainly do that.
“We are absolutely committed to creating an environment and selection of fixtures that give us the best chance of winning the World Cup in 2021 and 2025 and I have spoken to the coaches and players involved in the England Performance Unit and I know that they are all incredibly excited about the opportunity to test themselves later this year.”
Rugby Football League Rugby Director, Kevin Sinfield, said: “We want to work with players as early as we can and help them to hopefully progress on to the senior team for the World Cup in 2021 and/or 2025.
“The Knights programme ties in fully with our ‘England Heartbeat’ philosophy of getting players ready to perform at their very best in an England shirt for the Senior team. This is achieved through providing players with exposure against other nations and playing styles, intensity of high level international rugby and life experiences they may never have come across. We think this tour to Papua New Guinea ticks all of the boxes and every player in contention should be looking forward to the trip.”