England coach Paul Anderson has enthused that “nothing is off limits” in regards to where in the world the reformed side could play their games in the coming years.
The Knights, who named their first squad in five years last week following the return of the popular concept, are widely anticipated to play in a European Championship/Six Nations competition this autumn – with Anderson confirming it is unlikely they will play mid-season this year.
But beyond that, the former Great Britain prop has told League Express the possibilities are endless – admitting they could even tour all over the world in an exciting development for the international game in this country.
He said: “I’d like to think that nothing is off limits for us. How good would it be for a young group of players to be able to go on a tour and represent their country?
“We definitely won’t play mid-season this year, but moving forward, that is something that may change moving forward.
“We’ve all got the aim of winning a World Cup in 2021, and we’ve got a duty to provide the England head coach come 2021 with an array of high-quality players who’ve had exposure to a variety of high-end international competition and varying environments.
“That’s where the Knights can come in and make a difference. England’s senior side can only play so many games, so this is a fantastic stepping stone for players to experience international rugby. Our challenge is to make sure we give them a great opportunity and some exciting life experiences, too.”
Anderson admits he accepted an offer to coach the Knights after being bowled over by the enthusiasm shown by the likes of RFL director Kevin Sinfield to the project.
He said: “I’ve been presented with some stuff in regards to coming back into the game in club land, but they weren’t right.
“ As a British coach, we don’t seem to get many chances so I’ve got to make sure my next job, if I go back into a club, is absolutely right. With the way the Knights job was sold to me, it genuinely enthused me. With Kevin and everyone else involved, it seemed the right fit.”
There is no specific age limit on the squad, Anderson confirmed, as well as admitting his squads will be holding regular get-togethers throughout the year at the same time as Wayne Bennett’s senior squad – something he believes will benefit all involved.
He said: The first get-together will be a joint one, and the second one will be separate so we can get together and sort some stuff on our own. We’ll meet at the same time at the same venue, and after a review of both squads following the Denver game, we’ll have a couple more meetings after that.
“This is a chance for these lads to not only experience a new environment, which will be great for them, but to play for England. We want to expose them to different environments – and give them chances to play potentially beyond these shores.”