22nd August 2018, 15:38 | england_lions
Ahead of their first fixture against Wigan Reserves this evening, the Lions have announced a 19-man squad from their Development side.
The squad have met for two training sessions on the 5 th and 19 th August 2018, before the final squad was selected by Head Coach, Richard Owen.
West Hull, Underbank Rangers and reigning National Conference League champions Thatto Heath Crusaders all boast three members of the squad each, while Siddal and Egremont Rangers are both represented by two players.
Featherstone Lions, Hunslet Club Parkside, Pilkington Recs and Wigan St Pats all boast a player each in the squad, with ex-Hull FC halfback Reece Dean rewarded for his fine form with Skirlaugh as their sole call-up.
Meanwhile Jordan Gibson, captain of North West Men's League outfit Haydock, is the only player selected from outside the National Conference League.
Speaking on the development squad and his new appointment as Head Coach, Owen said: "The role of the England Lions Development Squad over the next 6-8 months is to establish the best group of players who are competent in representing their country towards the end of 2019.
"Players who have previously played for the Lions will be included into this process over the coming months and integrated into the squad, providing their form is good.
"This is a different process to what has been done previously and one I'm excited about being involved in. The competition for places will be something that drives the squad and something I feel is important as an England Head Coach."
The England Lions Development Squad will face Wigan Reserves tonight (Wednesday, August 22), 6.30pm kick off at Orrell's Edge Hall Road.
England Community Lions 19-man Development Squad:
Matty Henson, Marcus O'Brien (Egremont Rangers); Gareth Gale (Featherstone Lions); Jordan Gibson (Haydock); Kieran Murphy (Hunslet Club Parkside); Ryan Hilyard (Pilkington Recs); Danny Williams, Freddie Walker (Siddal); Reece Dean (Skirlaugh); Max Dudley, Mike Stark, Matty Norton (Thatto Heath Crusaders); Danny Hirst, Sam Ansell, Sam Rochford (Underbank Rangers); Nathan Hill, Jack lazenby, Ryan Wilson (West Hull); Jamie Bristoe (Wigan St. Pats).