Players from Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity named in England Nines squad
Leeds Rhinos winger Ash Handley has been selected for England's Downer World Cup Nines squad, alongside Castleford Tigers duo Jake Trueman and Liam Watts and Reece Lyne of Wakefield Trinity.
The Betfred Super League-based players will fly to Sydney next Saturday morning to begin preparations for the tournament at Bankwest Stadium on October 18 and 19.
England’s men have been drawn in a qualifying group with Wales, France and Lebanon, with the winners progressing to the semi-finals.
England women, whose squad was named in August, will be in action at the same time and venue in a tournament with Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, the top two going straight to the final.
Former Rhinos winger Ryan Hall, now at Sydney Roosters, is one of five NRL-based players in the men's squad, alongside captain James Graham, his St George-Illawarra teammate Gareth Widdop, who will join Warrington next season, Elliott Whitehead and Ryan Sutton of Canberra Raiders and South Sydney Rabbitohs' prop Tom Burgess.
The 10 Super League players are drawn from from eight clubs and include Wigan Warriors' George Williams, Warrington Wolves' Daryl Clark and Jack Hughes, Jermaine McGillvary from Huddersfield Giants, Sam Tomkins from the Catalans Dragons and Jake Connor of Hull FC.
Trueman, Widdop, Whitehead, Hall, Burgess, Clark, Hughes, McGillvary and Williams have also been selected for Great Britain southern hemisphere tour which begins later this month.
Handley, Watts and Lyne have been placed on stand-by for Great Britain, along with Sam Tomkins.
The full 24-man Great Britain touring party will be announced on Monday, October 14, after the Super League Grand Final between St Helens and Salford Red Devils.
A number of other players, including the Canberra pair of John Bateman and Josh Hodgson, and Warrington’s stand-off Blake Austin, were not considered for the Nines because of injury, but are expected to be available for the Great Britain tour.
England men's squad for Downer World Cup Nines is James Graham (St George Illawarra Dragons, captain), Tom Burgess (South Sydney), Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves), Jake Connor (Hull FC), Ryan Hall (Sydney Roosters), Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos), Jack Hughes (Warrington Wolves), Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Ryan Sutton (Canberra Raiders), Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons), Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers), Liam Watts (Castleford Tigers), Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders), Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons), George Williams (Wigan Warriors).