LEEDS RHINOS’ player of the year Richie Myler has been called into the England squad for the upcoming Tests against France and New Zealand.
Clubmates Ash Handley and Liam Sutcliffe are also in line to face France in Leigh on Wednesday after being promoted from England Knights, along with Castleford Tigers’ Oliver Holmes.
Myler, 28, replaces Castleford half-back Luke Gale who has withdrawn from the England group due to a knee injury. He has six England caps, plus two appearances against Exiles, but has not played for his country since 2012.
Myler, who joined Rhinos from Catalans Dragons a year ago, trained with England in Manchester on Sunday and could feature in two days’ time when England play their only warm-up Test ahead of the three-match series against New Zealand which begins at the end of this month.
The series opens in Hull on Saturday, October 27 with the second Test at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium eight days later.
The final match will be played at Elland Road, Leeds, on Sunday, November 11
Centre/winger Handley, utility-player Sutcliffe and forward Holmes are among six players drafted in from the England Knights squad for Wednesday’s game when players from Betfred Super League Grand Finalists Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves will not be available.
All three are uncapped. Handley has not played since suffering a shoulder injury in Rhinos’ Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final loss to Warrington more than two months ago.
The other Knights players in contention to face France are Hull FC full-back Jamie Shaul, former Leeds forward Robbie Mulhern of Hull Kingston Rovers and Matt Whitley, a second-rower from Widnes Vikings.
They also trained with the senior squad in Manchester and will rejoin the Knights after Wednesday night’s game. The Knights will jet out of England on Thursday for a training camp in Brisbane ahead of their two-Test series against Papua New Guinea in Lae and Port Moresby.
Castleford loose-forward Adam Milner and Wakefield Trinity centre Reece Lyne could both make their England debut against France.