Warrington half-back Declan Patton has answered a late call from England Knights and will join the squad in Leigh today as they complete their preparations for a three-week tour including two internationals in Papua New Guinea.
Patton, a 23-year-old who made his second Grand Final appearance in three years for the Wolves at Old Trafford on Saturday, fills the place vacated by the withdrawal of Danny Richardson because of injury.
He becomes the sixth Warrington player in the 24-man squad, joining Toby King, Harvey Livett, Tom Lineham, Joe Philbin and the captain, Jack Hughes.
The Knights leave Manchester for Brisbane on Thursday morning, and will spend a week working at the Brisbane Broncos training base before moving on to Papua New Guinea, ahead of internationals in Lae on October 27 and Port Moresby the following Saturday.
They will be joined by Jamie Jones-Buchanan, the Leeds Rhinos forward having been appointed to the backroom staff supporting head coach Paul Anderson as communications manager.
“I’ve enjoyed working in the media for a few years now, especially with my work with Rugby AM and on producing As Good As It Gets with the Rhinos,” said Jones-Buchanan, who was one of the driving forces behind the documentary of Leeds’s treble-winning season of 2015.
“It’s a really exciting tour for all of us, and also a very important one for the future of England Rugby League as we build towards the 2021 World Cup.
“So it’s just as important that we make sure people back home can follow how we’re doing out in PNG through the media, and I’m looking forward to sending back lots of good content.”
Revised England Knights Squad: Hughes (Warrington, captain), Atkin (Hull KR), Batchelor (Wakefield), Davies (Wigan), Evalds (Salford), Fash (Hull FC), Hadley (Hull FC), Handley (Leeds), Holmes (Castleford), T King (Warrington), Leeming (Huddersfield), Lees (St Helens), Lineham (Warrington), Livett (Warrington), Mulhern (Hull KR), Oledzki (Leeds), Patton (Warrington), Philbin (Warrington), Powell (Wigan), Shaul (Hull FC), Sutcliffe (Leeds), J Walker (Leeds), D Walker (Widnes), Whitley (Widnes).
October 18 – depart for Brisbane
October 20-24 – training at Brisbane Broncos
October 25 – fly to Lae
October 27 – Papua New Guinea v England Knights (Lae)
October 28 – fly to Port Moresby
November 3 – Papua New Guinea v England Knights (Oil Search National Football Stadium, Port Moresby)
November 4 – return home, via Brisbane