10th June 2019, 16:00 | university
Following the first phase of the 2019 England Universities programme, which saw the England team win four out of five of its games, Head Coach Richard Tate has now named his final 20 man squad who will travel to Edinburgh for the Student Rugby League Four Nations competition.
England's initial 26 man squad has played Great Britain Teachers, Great Britain Police and UK Armed Forces in the Annual RFL President's Cup, as well as impressing against Halifax Reserves and Featherstone Rovers Reserves, but with only 20 places available for the Four Nations, the coaches have had to make difficult decisions to reduce the squad down to 20.
"I'd like to thank all the players for their efforts so far in the programme" said Richard.
"The commitment and enthusiasm from all the players has been outstanding" he continued, "and all of the staff have really enjoyed working with the squad since we first sat down with them in Nottingham back in March."
Richard has a wealth of experience available to face Wales, Ireland and hosts Scotland, with six of his squad having represented England in previous years; Kieran Smith and Ryan Langton are both in their third years with the programme and Dan Gover, Matthew Chrimes, Conner MacCallum and Lee Registe all having played in 2018.
His older heads have been challenged by newcomers to the squad, with a number of players also playing semi-professionally such as Alex Eckley (NW Crusaders), Jacob Jones and Errol Carter (both Coventry Bears) and Sean Croston (Newcastle Thunder U19s) all impressing in games so far.
However, the squad know that their matchday places in Edinburgh are not safe, with competition for selection going into the Four Nations still strong in the camp.
"There are still some difficult choices to make about who plays in each game, but we'll deal with that when we get to Scotland”, explained Richard.
“Three games in seven days in going to be very tough on the players, so we need to make sure we get our rotations right and also hope we don’t pick up too many knocks during the week.”
Finally, Richard had some words for the six players who will miss out on the trip to Edinburgh;
"I'd like to thank Will Jubb, Ben Gray, Lewis Fairhurst, Nathan Taylor, Kai Fagan and Craig Banks who have missed out on final selection for various different reasons. Their contributions have been excellent throughout the programme and they all know that the door is open for them next year to try reclaim a place in the squad. I know they'll be supporting us to try and retain the Student Four Nations title in Edinburgh."
England Universities 2019 Four Nations Squad:
Alex Bielby (Northumbria)
Alex Eckley (Liverpool John Moores)
Alex Smith (Liverpool John Moores)
Andrew Joy (Manchester College)
Caley Gray (Bath)
Callum Fletcher (Leeds Beckett)
Conner MacCallum (Manchester Metropolitan)
Daniel Gover (Coventry)
Daniel Munt (Salford)
Errol Carter (Gloucestershire)
Jacob Jones (Loughborough College)
Kieran Smith (Hull)
Lee Registe (Leeds Beckett)
Lewis Munyoro (Coventry)
Matthew Chrimes (Leeds Beckett)
Robert Branton (Loughborough)
Ryan Langton (Huddersfield)
Sean Croston (Northumbria)
Tom Jubb (Hull)
2019 Student Rugby League Four Nations:
Sunday 23rd June
1300 - England v Wales
1515 - Scotland v Ireland
Wednesday 26th June
1445 - Ireland v England
1700 - Scotland v Wales
Saturday 29th June
1300 - Wales v Ireland
1515 - Scotland v England
All games take place at:
Laurie Liddell Clubhouse,