Leeds Rhinos' Kruise Leeming and Mikolaj Oledzki called into England training squad

Rhinos forwards Kruise Leeming and Mikolaj Oledzki have been called into the England squad which is training in Leeds on Tuesday.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 7:45 pm

Neither was named in a 35-man group announced last week, but Rhinos coach Richard Agar said both have been invited to join the session at Leeds Beckett University.

Clubmates Harry Newman, Ash Handley and Luke Gale were all included in the training squad, but are injured and will not attend.

Leeming and Oledzki have both featured for the second-string England Knights, but this will be their first involvement at senior level.

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Kruise Leeming watches on as Mik Oledzki is tackled by Castleford's Nathan Massey. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Polish-born Oledzki, also a former England academy player, began playing rugby in his teens, but has made rapid progress to now be an established first-choice prop for Rhinos.

Leeming, a 25-year-old hooker who was born in Swaziland - now known as Eswatini - joined Rhinos from Huddersfield Giants ahead of last season.

“They are training with England, they have been called up,” Agar said.

“I certainly think two of the three starts Kruise has made this year have been strong and his Challenge Cup semi-final performance last year was an eye-catching one.

Mik Oledzki, centrew and Kruise Leeming, right, celebrate last year's Cup final win wqith Matt Prior. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“Mik has been heading in this direction for a while and I thought he was absolutely magnificent [against St Helens] at the weekend.

“We love what our middles are doing for us at the moment. Matty [Prior] and Zane [Tetevano] provide experience, but what Mik turned out at the weekend was top-drawer.”

It will be the first time coach Shaun Wane has been able to get a squad together since taking over as England coach more than a year ago. Agar said: “I am pleased for Mik, pleased with his development.

“He is growing all the time, his performances for big portions of last year were great and in a big game against a top-quality pack at the weekend, he had a huge display.

“It is good reward for him. I know it will definitely keep him focused on the goal of making the [World Cup] squad at the end of the year.

“Shaun has said he’ll pick on form and that’s the challenge for both of them, to be in good enough form over long enough periods of time and now they’re in the squad, to try and hold their spot.

“It is great for us we’ve got two young players in his thoughts and will give them a great incentive to keep their consistency levels high.”

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