Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers players named in England Knights squad - Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR and Hull FC also represented

Leeds Rhinos Alex Mellor and Jacques O’Neill, of Castleford Tigers, are new inclusions in the latest England Knights squad.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 2:30 pm
Rhinos' Alex Mellor has been called into the England Knights squad. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Mellor is joined by clubmates Kruise Leeming, Mikolaj Oledzki and Cameron Smith, while Danny Richardson and Jake Trueman are Tigers’ other representatives.

Wigan Warriors supply the most players with five, while Huddersfield Giants and Leeds have four representatives, Castleford, St Helens and Warrington Wolves three and the remainder come from Catalans Dragons (two), Hull FC (two) and Hull KR (one).

Hull's duo, Joe Cator and Jordan Lane, have both been named in the squad for the first time.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Tigers' Jacques O'Neill is in the new England Knights squad. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

No Wakefield Trinity players have been selected.

Knights are England s second-string squad.

Their fixtures for this year have yet to be announced, but coach Paul Anderson’s squad will train alongside the full England group during the summer.

Anderson said: “Through the Knights programme we’re investing in the future of England rugby league.

“The Knights is part of a performance pathway from schoolboy level upwards and I am excited about the prospect of working with the players who have reached this stage of their development.

“My job is to prepare them for the next step – the senior international team.”

Anderson added: “People scrutinising the squad with a one-17 scenario in mind will be wasting their time.

“In the Knights set up we’ll be focusing on helping players make the transition from domestic to international competition, which means exposing them to the critical differences between what they experience day-in and day-out with their clubs and what they can expect as England internationals.

“The Knights is about developing talent, preparing well and competing hard.

“For some players the chance to represent the senior side may come at this year's World Cup, for others it might be 2025.

"Shaun [Wane, the England coach] is very clear about what he wants and expects from the Knights and I’m very clear about supporting him.”

The squad is: Matty Ashton, Rob Butler (both Warrington Wolves), Tom Davies (Catalans Dragons), Matty English (Huddersfield Giants), Joe Cator* (Hull FC), Ethan Havard (Wigan Warriors), Jordan Lane* (Hull), George Lawler (Hull KR), Matty Lees (St Helens), Kruise Leeming (Leeds Rhinos), Darnell McIntosh (Huddersfield), Liam Marshall (Wigan), Alex Mellor*, Mikolaj Oledzki (both Leeds), Jacques O’Neill* (Castleford Tigers), Oliver Partington (Wigan), Danny Richardson (Castleford), Aaron Smith (St Helens), Cameron Smith (Leeds), Harry Smith, Morgan Smithies (both Wigan), Jake Trueman (Castleford), Danny Walker (Warrington), Jake Wardle (Huddersfield), Jack Welsby (St Helens), Matt Whitley (Catalans), Oliver Wilson (Huddersfield). *denotes new selection.