England Community Lions Under 19’s Head Coach Allan Coleman has announced a 32-player train-on squad for the European Championships.
This follows the February trial, held at Pilkington Recs, that saw players split across three teams who then played against each other.
Speaking on how selection worked, Coleman explained: “On the day I split the staff up over the three teams, I then took their feedback and nominated players, and that’s how we whittled it down.”
This squad is made up of players from 24 Community Rugby League clubs including representation from Cumbria, Lancashire, and Yorkshire and from famous old names like Millom, Siddal, and Leigh Miners Rangers.
“I was really excited by the amount of quality that was there at Pilks. We could have picked many more if I’m honest. Unfortunately, though we can’t and it’s going to be even more of a difficult job now, cutting it back to 21,” Coleman said.
“I just feel that the squad we’ve got now gives us a real balance of quality. There are three or four there for every position. That’s going to bring some challenges but also what I feel will be the best quality for England.”
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While the squad includes several names that have impressed for England previously at earlier age groups, there are also several players that have the chance to put their best foot forward including two players from Cottingham Tigers and one each from the likes of Lowca and Westgate Common.
“There are some kids out there that progressively come through the age groups of international representation, but you also get some who don’t potentially get seen, and I think how we do the Lions programme now, especially through Alan Davidson, is we reach out to as many clubs as possibly can and it doesn’t matter what division they are in, it’s important they get as much opportunity as anyone else.
“That’s where you’ll see these hidden gems and it gives everyone a fair playing field.”
Coleman continued” “It’s really important that these clubs get exposure as well, then hopefully it grows their club. That’s also really important for us all on the Lions programme.”
The 32-player squad will meet up on the 6th March at Leigh Miners Rangers’ Twist Lane home for further training with a view to 21-player squad eventually being selected for the European Championships.
Mark Alban (Newton Storm)
Tyler Birtle (Leigh Miners Rangers)
Mekhi Bridgeman-Reaney (Stanningley)
Kian Cockshott (Wibsey Warriors)
Kieran Dean (Thatto Heath)
Andy Djeukam (East Leeds)
Connor Goldthorpe (Thatto Heath)
Blaine Graham (Kells)
Archie Halmshaw (West Bowling)
Logan Holgate (Hensingham)
Toby Hughes (Newton Storm)
Noah Lancelott (Leigh Miners Rangers)
Josh Leeson (Westgate Common)
Ryan Lockett (Pilkington Recs)
Callum Murphy (Waterhead)
Jack Newbigin (Millom)
Harvey Oldroyd (Siddal)
George Painter (Cottingham Tigers)
Matthew Parkes (Leigh Miners Rangers)
Scott Parnaby (Waterhead)
Harry Penny (Ince Rose Bridge)
Bradlee Radford (East Hull)
Luc Slater (Orrell St James)
Jake Smith (Cottingham Tigers)
Mitchell Todd (Lowca)
Max Tordoff (West Bowling)
Dylan Turner (Oldham St Annes)
Josh Wagstaff (Langworthy Reds)
Kieran Welburn (West Hull)
Bradley Wheeler (Hunslet Club Parkside)
Rio Wilson-McQuistan (Millom)
Ryan Wood (Wigan St Judes)