Former cage fighter named in England Academy squad

North Shields-born Sam Luckley swapped the octagon for the Rugby League field and has been named in England’s Academy squad.

The Gateshead College student, 18, was a mixed martial artist before turning his hand to Rugby League. He is now on a one-month trial with Super League club Huddersfield Giants and in the running to play against France for the England Academy on Friday May 16.

He said: “I was really into cage fighting a few years ago and I did that for about 12-18 months. I discovered that it was a great way of channeling my aggression.

“Rugby gives me that same focus and drive. I’m thrilled to have been picked for the squad and my goal now is to play in the France game.”

Rob Jones, Rugby League coach at Gateshead College, said: “The Rugby League Performance Centre is an integral part of our Academy for Sport and has given Sam the chance to showcase his skills on the national stage. Some players who are selected for the youth and academy teams then go on to play for Super League sides.

“Sam now has a great opportunity to fulfil his potential and go on to forge a worthwhile career in this industry.”

England Academy 36-man squad
Adam Saunders (St Helens, Thatto Heath)
Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Brandon Moore (RFL Cumbria Academy, Ellenborough Rangers)
Dave Hewitt (St Helens, Bold Miners)
David Thompson (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Elliot Minchella (Leeds Rhinos, West Bowling)
Gabriel Fell (Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge)
George Milton (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Harry Tyson Wilson (Hull FC, West Hull)
Jack Logan (Hull FC, Cottingham Tigers)
Jack Downs (Hull FC, Cottingham Tigers)
Jack Johnson (Warrington Wolves, Saddleworth Rangers)
Jake Shorrocks (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Jake Moore (Wigan Warriors, Wath Brow Hornets)
Jansin Turgut (Hull FC, West Hull)
Joe Bretherton (Wigan Wariors, Wigan St Patricks)
Joe Hambley (Cumbria Academy, Ulverston)
Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)
Kurtis Quinn (Cumbria Academy, Wath Brow Hornets)
Luke Waterworth (Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge)
Macaulay Davies (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Judes)
Matt Stableford (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Matty Fleming (St Helens, Bold Miners)
Max Jowitt (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Stanley Rangers)
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)
Ryan Ince (Widnes Vikings, Widnes Moorfield)
Sam Luckley (RFL North East Academy, Wallsend Eagles)
Toby Everett (London Broncos, Greenwich Admirals)
Toby King (Warrington Wolves, Meltham All Blacks)
Tom Calland (St Helens, Widnes St Maries)
Tyler Dickinson (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)
Will Maher (Castleford Tigers / RFL Cumbria Academy, Ulverston)

England Youth 35-man squad
Brad Clavering (Hull FC, Skirlaugh)
Brad Walker (RFL Cumbria Academy, Askam)
Cameron Smith (Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Panthers)
Carl Ceoghan (St Helens, Widnes St Maries)
Charlie Phythian (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion)
Charlie Weaver (Hull FC, Skirlaugh)
Chris Follin (St Helens, Thatto Heath Crusaders)
Connor Sunderland (Leeds Rhinos, Normanton Knights)
Connor Fitzsimmon (RFL Cumbria Academy, Seaton Rangers)
Craig Mullen (Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook)
Dan Norman (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion)
Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings, Rylands)
George Moore (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion)
Izaac Farrell (Huddersfield Giants, Newsome Panthers)
Jack Fox (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion)
Jack Gordon (RFL Cumbria Academy, Dalton)
Jack Wells (Wigan Warriors, Folly Lane)
Jake Woods (RFL North East Academy, Cramlington Rockets)
Jonathon Cameron (RFL Cumbria Academy, Seaton Rangers)
Jordan Lane (Hull FC, West Hull)
Josh Ganson (St Helens, Blackbrook)
Lewis Bienek (London Broncos, Greenwich Admirals)
Lewis Heckford (Wigan Warriors, Stanley Rangers)
Liam Paisley (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Dalton)
Liam Walsh (Widnes Vikings, Halton Farnworth Hornets)
Matty English (Huddersfield Giants, Stanley Rangers)
Max Dudley (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Judes)
Morgan Smith (Leeds Rhinos, Stanley Rangers)
Oliver Ashall (Widnes Vikings, Widnes Moorfield)
Patrick Casey (Wigan Warriors, Oldham St Annes)
Rob Fairclough (St Helens, Blackbrook)
Rory Dixon (Leeds Rhinos, Normanton Knights)
Ryan Jones (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Sam Brady (Wigan Warriors, Widnes Moorfield)
Will Dagger (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Castleford Panthers)

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