10th December 2018, 13:30 | university
England Universities Rugby League have announced the coaching teams for their two Origin sides.
Following the round of Regional games, which saw Yorkshire v Midlands, North West v North East and South East v South West, the regions now combine into North and South teams.
The annual University Rugby League Origin game will take place on Saturday 9th February, 2.30pm, at Loughborough University and will see two squads of 22 players drawn from the regional games go head to head for a place in the England Universities 2019 squad.
For the north, Tyneside's Adam Houston will take the reigns as head coach, having overseen the North's win in 2018 and will be assisted by Brett Turner, who made his University Rugby League coaching debut this season as head coach of the Yorkshire side, and Alex Davidson who was assistant coach with the North West and also coaches Salford University in the BUCS competition.
In the south the coaching line up remains the same, with Gloucestershire's Ben Whincup returning as head coach, supported by assistants Mark Sloan and John Isaacs, all of whom looking to build on last year's valiant performance by the Blues and all of whom are experienced coaches in their own right, having led their respective regions in the recent round of games and with Coventry Bears (Sloan) and London Broncos U16s (Isaacs).
"Once again I'd like to thank all of the coaches and managers who contributed so well to the regional games and now its time to congratulate the six coaches who will take charge of the Origin teams throughout January and February" said Richard Tate, England Universities Head Coach.
"I've spoken to each of the guys individually and discussed what we are looking to get out of the Origin game. Myself and Kevin Deighton will be working closely with them to monitor all of the selected players ahead of the Origin game in February and we all can't wait to get started!"
Train on squads for the two Origin teams will be announced w/c 17th December, with the final squads cut to 22 players for the game.
The full line up of coaches for the University Rugby League Origin game, Saturday 9th February, 2.30pm, Loughborough University is: