8th June 2019, 09:46 | england_lions
29 players from across 18 community clubs have today been confirmed as part of the England Community Lions: Men Open Age training squad.
The Lions programme is designed to support the retention of players within the community game, as well as provide once in a lifetime experiences, through cultural experiences and competitions.
Players have been selected following a Reds v Blues game (for all clubs and associations below Tier 4 competitions) and the East v West game (in which Tier 4 competition players joined).
The 29-man training squad will participate in two training sessions, on the 9thJune and 14thJuly before the squad is reduced to a 22-man touring side whom will visit the Southern Hemisphere in Autumn 2019.
Speaking on the announcement, Head Coach Richard Owen said “It’s been a really tough and extensive task selecting the players for the Training Squad. Both trial games have given the coaching staff a great insight into what players have to offer.
The trial games are designed to take players out of their comfort zones, as well as see players from outside of the NCL clubs – of which a selection of players have been invited into the squad from.
I’m confident with the squad selection and would also like to thank all the players who have been involved in the system up to this point. We are still monitoring all players whom have been involved thus far, and I think the process so far and through the remainder of the season will show the wealth and breadth of talent within our community game. Over the coming months we have the difficult task of reducing this squad again as we prepare for tour in late October.
All players whom have been selected thus far are truly deserving of their place, having showcased their talent to both myself and assistant coach, Richard Knight. The hard work now begins for these players as they look to gain an England jersey and a place within the England Community Lions playing squad – the pinnacle of the Community Game.”
England Community Lions: Men Open Age Training Squad
Troy Armstrong (Kells), Andy Boothroyd (Underbank Rangers), Tony Burns (Kells), Karl Dixon (Wath Brow), Connor Dwyer (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Gareth Gale (Featherstone Lions), Jordon Gibson (Haydock), Keiran Glen (Egremont Rangers), Bobbie Goulding (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Matty Henson (Egremont Rangers), Ben Heyes (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Tom Horner (Egremont Rangers), Adam Jackson (Barrow Island), David Kennerdy (Orrell St. James), Fran King (Wath Brow), Jack Lazenby (West Hull), Craig McShane (Hunslet Parkside), Gareth Morgan (Saddleworth Rangers), Kieron Murphy (Hunslet Parkside), Harry Naughton (Simms Cross), Marcus O’Brien (Egremont Ranger), Gavin Rodden (Wigan St. Judes), Dean Rooney (Wath Brow), Danny Ryding (Wigan St. Pats), Chris Siddons (Castleford Lock Lane), Nathan Slater (Skirlaugh), Scott Spaven (West Hull), Mike Stark (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Curtis Teare (Wath Brow), Jamie Tracy (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Freddie Walker (Siddal), Ryan Wilson (West Hull).