With the England Elite Training Squad selection grabbing all the headlines this week, there was another international announcement that has somewhat gone under the radar.
Alongside England taking part in the World Cup Nines and Great Britain touring the Southern Hemisphere, the England Knights will take on Jamaica on October 20th, with both teams using the fixture as preparation for the 2021 World Cup.
🏴 England Knights
📅 Sunday, October 20
🎟️ Adult tickets just £10!
— England Rugby League (@England_RL) July 14, 2019
What’s always interesting with exhibition matches like this is the line-ups each side fields and the players who are eligible.
So we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at who could be turning out at Headingley in October.
The Knights are the easier side to pick, after a 37-man Performance Squad was released on Monday.
⚔️ Your England Knights! 🏴 pic.twitter.com/3ED5J6VDY2
— England Rugby League (@England_RL) July 15, 2019
Debutant Harry Newman’s Super League form should earn him a place in what is a relatively experienced outside backline.
There’s also a selection dilemma when it comes to the halves, with Jordan Abdull’s strong performances for London putting him well in the frame for a debut against the Reggae Warriors.
Up front, Jack Hughes’ promotion to the England squad means the Knights need a new captain. Wigan’s Sam Powell and Joe Greenwood are both worthy candidates, as is Warrington prop Joe Philbin.
I’d expect Greenwood and Josh Jones to also make his debut in the pack, as will Joe Bullock from the subs bench.
Possible starting 17:
1 Jack Walker (Leeds Rhinos)
2 Tom Davies (Wigan Warriors)
3 Toby King (Warrington Wolves)
4 Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos)
5 Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves)
6 Jordan Abdull (London Broncos)
7 Danny Richardson (St Helens)
8 Matty Lees (St Helens)
9 Sam Powell (c) (Wigan Warriors)
10 Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves)
11 Joe Greenwood (Wigan Warriors)
12 Mike McMeeken (Castleford Tigers)
13 Josh Jones (Salford Red Devils)
14 Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield Giants)
15 Rob Mulhern (Hull KR)
16 Joe Bullock (Wigan Warriors)
17 Matt Whitley (Catalan Dragons)
Jamaica haven’t yet announced a squad, but it will likely be made up mainly from the players who played in last year’s successful World Cup Qualifiers.
That squad included Super League pedigree from the likes of Ashton Golding and Ben Jones-Bishop, as well as a number of stars from the Championship and League 1.
Among them were Halifax’s Challenge Cup Quarter Final hero James Woodburn-Hall, Bradford Bulls cult hero Ross Peltier and London Skolars trio Jy-mel Coleman, Lamont Bryan and Mo Agoro.
Jamaica Operations Directors Jason Robinson and Alex Simmons are in the process of recruiting heritage players, with Huddersfield duo Jordan Turner and Michael Lawrence already nailing their colours to the mast.
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Other top flight players Greg Johnson, Mason Caton-Brown and Luther Burrell are all also eligible and could well feature against the Knights.
Possible starting 17:
1 Ashton Golding (Leeds Rhinos)
2 Greg Johnson (Salford Red Devils)
3 Ben Jones-Bishop (Wakefield Trinity)
4 James Woodburn-Hall (Halifax RL)
5 Mason Caton-Brown (Wakefield Trinity)
6 Jordan Turner (Huddersfield Giants)
7 Izaac Farrell (Rochdale Hornets)
8 Lamont Bryan (London Skolars)
9 Jy-mel Coleman (London Skolars)
10 Jode Sheriffe (Dewsbury Rams)
11 Luther Burrell (Warrington Wolves)
12 Joel Farrell (Sheffield Eagles)
13 Michael Lawrence (Huddersfield Giants)
14 Ross Peltier (Bradford Bulls)
15 Jon Magrin (Bradford Bulls)
16 Jordan Andrade (Dewsbury Rams)
17 Mo Agoro (London Skolars)