England trial new combinations
England coach, Tony Smith, has named an experimental squad for this Saturday’s Gillette Fusion International against the Welsh at The Brewery Field, Bridgend.
Featuring five players aged 21 years or under in the starting lineup, Smith has opted to use the warm up international as a chance to test new combinations, and as well try and unearth potential new superstars in the international arena.
The youthful halves combination will feature reigning Super League Young Player of the Year Sam Tomkins, 20 at stand off, whilst Richie Myler, 19, will partner at scrum half.
There is also an international debut for Hull FC teenager Tom Briscoe, 19, in a team that will be captained by Adrian Morley, who is one of three Warrington Wolves players in a strong pack.
The three players to miss out from the 20-man squad named on Monday are Tony Clubb, Stefan Ratchford and Ben Harrison.
“There were a few tough calls but I’m very excited by the squad,” said Smith. “The game on Saturday is primarily there to give the guys going through to the Gillette Four Nations an opportunity to get a game under their belt and get some combinations going.
“They will all feel the benefit of the experience, especially the younger players.
“People like Tom Briscoe won’t be going through to the Four Nations squad but it’s important that we give people like him a taster, just like we gave Richie Myler a taster a year ago.”
“The young guys who were involved against Wales last year have all kicked on, and we hope everyone else has too.”
None of the nine players from Leeds Rhinos and St Helens who were involved in last Saturday’s engage Super League Grand Final were considered for selection for this weekend’s games.
England Lions: Paul Sykes (Bradford Bulls); Peter Fox (Hull Kingston Rovers), Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors), Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers), Tom Briscoe (Hull FC); Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors), Richard Myler (Salford City Reds); Adrian Morley (Warrington Wolves) (capt), Scott Moore (Huddersfield Giants), Garreth Carvell (Warrington Wolves), Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers), Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves), Sam Burgess (Bradford Bulls). Interchange: Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (Harlequins), Mickey Higham (Warrington Wolves), Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves), Danny Tickle (Hull FC).