Seven Wigan youngsters named in England’s Academy tour of Australia

England Academy coach Andy Kelly has today confirmed his squad of 24 players that will travel to Australia, with seven Wigan Warriors players included.

Nine clubs are represented in total for the tour, which will see the England squad take on the Australia High Schools in two Tests.

The Academy have had a number of training camps throughout the year in preparation of the tour, while they also defeated France Under 18s in May 52-20.

A number of familiar names are in the squad, including Hull KR’s Will Oakes, Leeds’ Cameron Smith and Wigan’s Jack Wells, who have all made Super League appearances this year.

Kelly said: “The squad’s attitude in training and our game against France threw up some selection headaches. As a coach, that’s what you want from your players. It wasn’t easy picking this group of lads.

“Boarding that plane is what I believe to be the best young talent in English Rugby League right now and I’m confident they’ll go over there and do themselves, their families, their clubs and England proud.

“This is such a massive opportunity for these young men to go on a month-long tour of Australia and test themselves against some of the best under-18s in the world – myself and the rest of the England staff are excited to see them in action.”

England Academy will play a warm-up game against Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs before heading over to Penrith in the second week to face Penrith Panthers in their final warm-up of the tour.

Their two Tests against Australia High Schools will be curtain-raisers with the first being played before Redcliffe Dolphins’ Queensland Cup fixture against Norths Devils at Dolphin Oval. The second will be played ahead of the NRL Telstra Premiership Round 22 fixture between Cronulla Sharks and Canberra Raiders at the Southern Cross Group Stadium.

England Academy 24-man squad (professional club and community club in brackets):

Caine Barnes (Wigan Warriors, Seaton Rangers)

James Batchelor (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Oulton Raiders)

Matthew Costello (St Helens, Orrell St James)

Matthew English (Huddersfield Giants, Stanley Rangers)

Rob Fairclough (St Helens, Blackbrook Royals)

Owen Farnworth (Widnes Vikings, Chorley Panthers)

Callum Field (Wigan Warriors, Stanley Rangers)

Conor Fitzsimmons (Castleford Tigers, Seaton Rangers)

Josh Ganson (Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook Royals)

Lewis Heckford (Wigan Warriors, Stanley Rangers)

Ryan Jones (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)

Jez Litten (City of Hull Academy, West Hull)

Judah Mazive (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Oulton Raiders)

Craig Mullen (Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook Royals)

Will Oakes (City of Hull Academy, Eastmoor Dragons)

Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)

Liam Paisley (Wigan Warriors, Dalton)

Cameron Smith (Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Panthers)

Morgan Smith (Warrington Wolves, Stanley Rangers)

Brad Walker (Widnes Vikings, Askam)

Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings, Crosfields)

Liam Walsh (Widnes Vikings, Halton and Farnworth Hornets)

Joe Wardill (City of Hull Academy, Beverley Braves)

Jack Wells (Wigan Warriors, Folly Lane)