Three teenagers who starred for England Academy in last autumn’s win against the Australian Schoolboys have been included in a 19-man England Knights squad for Sunday’s international against Jamaica at Emerald Headingley (3pm).
Harry Newman, the Leeds Rhinos centre who was called into the Knights Performance Squad midway through the season, is joined by the Wigan duo Harry Smith and Morgan Smithies.
Joe Greenwood, Oliver Partington and Sam Powell complete a quintet of Wigan players in the 19.
Three Leeds players will be hoping to impress on home territory, as Newman is joined by Mikolaj Oledzki and Cameron Smith.
Jack Ashworth and Niall Evalds, who were on opposite sides in Saturday’s Betfred Super League Grand Final, will team up with the Knights.
Ashworth’s Saints team-mate Danny Richardson is also included – as is Greg Minikin, who is leaving Castleford for Hull KR.
That means 10 of the 12 clubs in Betfred Super League in 2019 are represented, with Josh Bowden selected from Hull; Matt English, Kruise Leeming and Darnell McIntosh from Huddersfield Giants; Toby King and Tom Lineham from Warrington Wolves; and Rob Butler from London Broncos, a notable achievement for the 21-year-old prop who started playing Rugby League for the Medway Dragons community club in Kent.
Paul Anderson, the Knights head coach, said: “I think this squad shows why it was so important for the Knights to play this autumn.
“You can see from the Great Britain squad selected yesterday how much guys like Jack Hughes and Joe Philbin benefited from going to Papua New Guinea with the Knights last year.
“The other part of the pathway is young players such as Harry Newman, Harry Smith and Morgan Smithies coming up from the Academy after outstanding performances against the Australian Schoolboys last autumn, and then building on that with their club performances this season.
“The average age of the squad is only 22, and 12 of the 19 will be hoping to win their first Knights cap. That makes it an exciting squad to be around, and with attractive opposition in Jamaica, we hope Rugby League supporters will be keen to watch our next generation in international action next weekend.”
Jamaica named a 20-man squad last week for a fixture which is part of their preparations for their debut in the Rugby League World Cup in England in 2021, after they secured qualification by beating the United States in Jacksonville last autumn.
England Knights squad
Jack Ashworth St Helens
Josh Bowden Hull FC
Rob Butler London Broncos
Niall Evalds Salford Red Devils
Joe Greenwood Wigan Warriors
Toby King Warrington Wolves
Kruise Leeming Huddersfield Giants
Tom Lineham Warrington Wolves
Darnell McIntosh Huddersfield Giants
Greg Minikin Castleford Tigers
Harry Newman Leeds Rhinos
Mikolaj Oledzki Leeds Rhinos
Oliver Partington Wigan Warriors
Matt English Huddersfield Giants
Sam Powell Wigan Warriors
Danny Richardson St Helens
Harry Smith Wigan Warriors
Cameron Smith Leeds Rhinos
Morgan Smithies Wigan Warriors
England Knights v Jamaica match tickets priced from £10 Adults, £5 U21s and £3 for Juniors (age 16 and under) are available from tickets.therhinos.co.uk, by calling 0371 423 1315, or heading to the Leeds Rugby Ticket Office at Emerald Headingley Stadium. All ticket purchases will be subject to a £1.50 booking fee (excl. Print at Home tickets).