VERSATILE Brett Ferres’ inclusion in the England elite training squad has been welcomed by his Castleford Tigers coach Terry Matterson.
Ferres has not played international rugby league since winning four England caps during the 2006 Federation Cup competition.
But he has begun the season in outstanding form for Tigers, after an impressive 2010 campaign and Matterson feels his selection is fully justified.
Ferres will meet up with the rest of the squad throughout the season and will also receive advice from the England coaching staff and performance experts.
“I am really pleased for him,” said Matterson. “I thought he was unlucky to miss out on the tour to Australia last year.
“He worked hard in the off-season to improve his game and we identified some areas he needs to get better in but he has started the season really well.”
The former Bradford Bulls and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats player is a specialist back-rower, but he has been operating in the centres for Tigers.
“That’s another string to his bow,” said Matterson. “I think he is a better, more mature player than thwwe last time he played for England.”
Tigers centre Joe Arundel and prop Jonathan Walker have been named in the back-up England Knights squad.
“Joe and Jon have shown in a short space of time that they have got a chance of going all the way,” said Matterson.
“There were probably some others who were knocking on the door, such as Craig Huby if he keeps playing how he has.
“Not being picked doesn’t mean you can’t get picked for England at the end of the year.
“If the team keeps playing well it will strengthen a few other guys’ chances.”
Huddersfield’s former Castleford and Wakefield scrum-half Danny Brough is included in the elite squad, despite captaining Scotland in the 2008 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Richard Owen made his comeback from the broken leg he suffered a year ago, in Tigers under-20s’ 34-16 defeat at Wigan Warriors.
Owen played 65 minutes, at stand-off. Greg Eden scored two tries for Cas, with Joe Pickets also touching down. Ryan Brierley landed two conversions.