Italian job beckons for North West Lionhearts

The North West Men’s Lionhearts will spend the next week and more in Italy, with two matches being played against the host country and another against a Sicilian Select X111.

A Sicilian Select side will provide the opposition in the tour opener, on Sunday 15 July, while the Lionhearts will take on Italy on Wednesday 18 and Saturday 21 July.

All games could be staged at the Impianti Sportivi della Cittadella Universitaria and Tour Manager Stuart Prior, of Wigan St Patrick’s, said: “It’s a demanding trip and everybody will be given the opportunity to play and shine.

“The purpose of the tour is to help develop the game in Italy by playing representative teams selected from those clubs that do play within Italy.

“It will provide a test for the Italian domestic players to gauge where they are standards-wise and, from the NW Men’s players and support team prospective, it provides a cultural opportunity whilst promoting the sport of Rugby League.”

He added: “We have a well-balanced squad of players who have been performing well in the NWML and we are really looking forward to the challenge.”

All members of the party have paid their own fares, and the squad is Harry Warburton (Folly Lane), Lewis Grimes (Leigh Miners Rangers), Ryan Ashall, Jordan Penny (both Wigan St Cuthbert’s), Benjamin Jones, Scott Robinson (both Wigan St Jude’s), Daniel Gee, Jordan Gibson (Haydock), David Kennedy, Sam Lewis, Jack McHugh (Orrell St James), Wayne Bullough (Garswood Stags), Connor Dutton (Thatto Heath), Ryan Braddock (Wigan St Patrick’s),  Daniel Brown, Philip Woollacott (Latchford Albion), Joshua Hill (Manchester Rangers), Deane Meadows (Shevington), Stuart Pemberton (Wigan Bulldogs), Paul Rickelton (Hindpool).

The management team is: Tour Manager: Stuart Prior (Wigan St Patrick’s), Head Coach: Sean McHugh (Orrell St James), Assistant Coach: John Whalley (Wigan St Jude’s), Team Manager: Perry Kenyon (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Physio: Keiron Ainscough (Wigan St Jude’s), Kit & Logistics Manager: Martyn Ellis (Shevington), Social Media: Ryan Lewis (Bury Broncos), Masseuse: Courtney Horrocks (Orrell St James), Referee: Tara Jones.