TWO teenagers from Saddleworth have been named in the England Under-18 rugby league academy performance squad.
Josh Thewlis, who has already played first-team rugby for Warrington Wolves, and Huddersfield Giants’ academy player Fenton Rogers are included in a squad of 43.
They will take part in squad training in Leeds and potentially be selected to play for England who tour New Zealand and Australia in August and September.
Full-back/half back Thewlis, who lives in Grasscroft, played for England’s academy side last year.
Loose forward Rogers, 16, from Greenfield, is named in the academy set-up for the first time.
Dave Elliott, the RFL’s national programmes manager, said: “The purpose of the England academy programme is to identify players who have the potential to play international rugby league at senior level in the future and to create development opportunities for them here and now.
“We’re very excited about the prospect of a tour Down Under, but there’s a lot of hard work before then and nobody is certain of a place.
“We’ll be keeping a keen eye on club form, listening to club coaches and running regular training sessions throughout the year. And, as in 2019, this year’s ‘Origin’ fixtures, including Lancashire v Yorkshire, will form a significant part of the preparation and selection process.”
Squad members came together for the first time at Weetwood Hall in Leeds on Wednesday, February 19.
Academy Origin matches are scheduled for May 13 and June 24 at Batley and Wakefield respectively, with training sessions taking place at Weetwood throughout the spring and summer.
Selection for the four-week tour of New Zealand and Australia, which begins on August 10, will take place at the end of June. Full tour details will be announced in due course.
The full 43-player squad, which includes some familiar Rugby League names, is as follows. Jake Anderson (Newcastle Thunder), Cole Appleby (St Helens), Danny Attley (Castleford Tigers), Harvey Barron (Hull FC), Lewis Baxter (St Helens), Dean Beddall and Luke Broadbent (Warrington Wolves), Joe Burton and Oli Burton (Leeds Rhinos), Nathan Clemmitt (Newcastle Thunder), Lewis Dodd (St Helens), Alex Donaghy (Newcastle Thunder), Jacob Dugdale (Widnes Vikings), Jude Ferreria (Hull FC), Archie Fletcher (Castleford Tigers), Jacob Gannon (Warrington Wolves), Corey Hall (Leeds Rhinos), Umyla Hanley (Wigan Warriors), Danny Hill (Widnes Vikings), Jacob Hookem (Hull FC), Ellis Longstaff (Warrington Wolves), Aidan McGowan (Huddersfield Giants), Ben McNamara (Hull FC), Isaac Nokes (Newcastle Thunder), Matty Nicholson (Wigan Warriors) and Brad O’Neill (Wigan Warriors), Taylor Pemberton and Jamie Pye (St Helens), Cain Robb (Castleford Tigers), George Roby (Warrington Wolves), Fenton Rogers (Huddersfield Giants), Rian Rowley (Leeds Rhinos), Harry Rushton (Wigan Warriors), Jumah Sambou (St Helens), Harry Shackleton (Bradford Bulls), Iwan Stephens (Leeds Rhinos), Robson Stevens (Huddersfield Giants), Alex Sutton and Jack Taylor (Wigan Warriors), Josh Thewlis (Warrington Wolves), Liam Tindall (Leeds Rhinos), Kai Tyson (Hull FC), Connor Wrench (Warrington Wolves).