Rugby League


23 May 2024

Paul Anderson relishing tough selection decisions for England's Academy International against France

Paul Anderson relishing tough selection decisions for England's Academy International against France

Paul Anderson, the RFL’s Head of England Pathways, is relishing some tough selection decisions as the countdown continues to the Academy International against France at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Tuesday July 2.

Anderson will name his squad for the match on June 10 – and has been keeping a close eye on the performances of eligible players, both in the Academy and Reserves competitions, and in the Betfred Super League itself which has featured a number of teenage debutants this season.

“The game-time and impact of young players in the senior competitions has been great to see,” said Anderson.

“From Round One, when Arron Lindop made a try-scoring debut for Warrington Wolves in Perpignan, right up to the last few weeks when Riley Lumb scored two tries on his debut for Leeds Rhinos against a Hull FC team including Jack Charles, Lewis Martin and Logan Taylor-Moy – and that’s just picking out a couple of games and teams.

“Wigan have given game time to Zach Eckersley, Jack Farrimond and Tom Forber, who has also been on loan at Barrow.

“Noah Stephens made his St Helens debut at Cas the other week, and George Delaney is now established in their pack, with Jonny Vaughan getting development in the Championship on loan at Swinton.

“There are plenty of others I could mention - guys who are either still eligible for our England Academy team, or who have come through Academy Origin and in some cases into the Knights on the Pathway in the last couple of years – and who give us reason to be optimistic about the future for Super League and our England teams.

“I’m excited about the prospect of picking an England Academy team for an international in France, and then getting the lads together at Leeds Beckett University – which has been a fantastic base for the Pathway all year, with their excellent performance facilities.”
The Academy competition continues this weekend with five fixtures on Saturday – with two of the three teams level at the top of the table, Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors, meeting at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Castleford Tigers, the third team to have won four of their first five matches, host Hull FC at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle.