England honours for Leeds Rhinos young stars

Teenagers Cameron Smith, Mikolaj Oledzki, Josh Jordan-Roberts and Ryan Jones ' pictured in Leeds Rhinos' new academy kits ' are set to face Hunslet Hawks tomorrow. All four were this week named in the England academy squad.
Teenagers Cameron Smith, Mikolaj Oledzki, Josh Jordan-Roberts and Ryan Jones ' pictured in Leeds Rhinos' new academy kits ' are set to face Hunslet Hawks tomorrow. All four were this week named in the England academy squad.
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Eleven Leeds Rhinos players have been named in the England Youth and Academy squads for 2016.

Rhinos’ England Academy contingent includes Cameron Smith (whose amateur club was Castleford Panthers), Jack Wray (Skirlaugh Bulls), Josh Jordan-Roberts (Oulton Raiders), Mikolaj Oledzki (Hunslet Warriors) and Ryan Jones (Oulton Raiders) who are all in Leeds’ side to face Hunslet Hawks in Friday’s Lazenby Cup tie at South Leeds Stadium.

The others are: Connor Sunderland (Normanton Knights), Dyson Nicholson (Hunslet Warriors) and Harvey Whiteley (Oulton Raiders).

Rhinos’ players in the England Youth squad are Harry Newman (Newsome Panthers, Holmfirth High School), Kiedan Hartley (East Leeds, Manor Croft Academy) and Loui McConnell (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders, Brigshaw High School).

Rhinos’ head of youth development Simon Bell said: “I am pleased for all the players who have received a call up and it is a reward for their hard work over the last 12 months.

“All three players in the England Youth squad have been rewarded for their performances in the Under-16s last season when they played up a year and featured in seven or eight of our matches.

“Kiedan Hartley and Harry Newman have retained their places in the England squad from last season while Loui McConnell deserves his call up.”

He added: “It is great to see so many players in the England Academy squad with eight lads named in Andy Kelly’s 37-man squad.

“The majority of our players are still under-17 so they could be part of this group for a couple of years and hopefully a number will also be selected for the tour to Australia when this group is cut down in the summer.

“The tour to Australia is a great learning experience for the young players and they will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Liam Sutcliffe, Jordan Baldwinson, Carl Ablett, Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire, who all toured in their Academy years at the club.”

Meanwhile, Rhinos have unveiled a traditional look for both academy teams this season.

The home shirt is blue with amber hoops. The away kit is predominantly white, with blue and amber hoops.

Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are also represented in the England squads.

The Youth squad includes Wildcats’ Joe Summers (Shaw Cross Sharks, Siddal Moor Sports College) and Josh Pinder (Shaw Cross Sharks, RC High School) plus Tigers’ Callum McLelland (Lock Lane, Castleford Academy).

Castleford’s Conor Fitzsimmons (Seaton Rangers) and Wakefield’s Judah Mazive (Oulton Raiders) have been selected for the Academy squad.

Tom Briscoe.

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