Written by Rugby Football League
Photo by RFL
England Youth are all set to take on Wales at Stebonheath Park in Llanelli this Saturday (31 August) – and rugby league fans can catch all the action live on Our League from 11.30am (GMT).
England will select from an 18-strong squad drawn from as many as nine different academies, demonstrating the tremendous depth of talent at this level.
Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors between them supply eight players, though the squad itself is almost completely different to the one which recently defeated France in Hull and Wakefield – another measure of England’s strength in depth. Only the Rhinos’ Coby Nichol, who did not feature in either of the French tests, is retained for the trip to the home of West Wales Raiders.
Stebonheath Park is familiar terrain for several of Wales coach Lee Crooks’ charges. Last month the legendary former Great Britain forward named a 20-strong ‘first team’, plus a further 15 players ready to step up in cases of injuries.
England Youth team offers a well-established pathway to the elite level, via the England Academy system. Both are incorporated within the RFL’s England Performance Unit (EPU) which aims to develop more world-class England players for all senior squads by 2021.
Head coach Danny Wilson is supported by, among others, the former Great Britain international and Man of Steel Paul Sculthorpe, whose role as England Pathways Coach focuses on the development of country’s outstanding young players.