Nine young Saints in the Lancashire squad for Academy Origin

SAINTS have nine Saints players included in the Lancashire squad for the first of three games in this year’s Origin Academy Series at Widnes on Sunday May 15.

England Pathways manager Paul Anderson has selected 42 of the best young players from the Betfred Super League and Championship Academy, including several who already have first-team experience.

McKenzie Buckley and George Delaney are two of those who experienced first-team rugby union for the Saints and are included alongside Academy hopefuls Kalan Devine, Sam Haynes, Ben Lane, Ciaran Nolan, Will Roberts, Dayon Sambou and Leunbou Bardyell Wells.

Lancashire will be coached by Shane Eccles.

Former England and Great Britain player Chev Walker, head coach of the Leeds Rhinos Academy, will take charge of Yorkshire.

Eccles will be assisted by Warrington Wolves duo Tyrone McCarthy (stock exchange head coach) and Liam Myler (strength and conditioning), while Walker will work alongside Huddersfield Giants duo Tom Tsang and Adam Megretton.

Origin Academy returns to its three-game format this summer after the entire 2020 schedule was forced to be canceled and a Covid-shortened 2021.

The second match will be played at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford on Sunday June 26, with the third and final meeting taking place at Wakefield on Sunday July 24.

Paul Anderson, Head of England Pathways, said: “Shane and Chev are two exceptional coaches, fully focused on developing players not only for the Super League but also for England.

“And their teams are full of young talent that we want to see perform at what for them is the next level down the road to English talent.

“All training sessions before each Origin game will take place at Leeds Beckett University – a world-class campus that reflects the ambitions of our development programme.

“Residential Camps will also be a feature of the Origin Series, so our top players are exposed to the camp environment they might encounter at senior level and better understand the demands and expectations involved.

“The return of a full Academy program in 2022 is truly beneficial for players, coaches, clubs and the game as a whole.

“This is how we identify and develop players who have the potential to become elite performers on the national and international stage.”

The England RL Academy is part of the RFL talent trail, which also includes the England Knights and the senior men’s team.

Several England squad members recently named Shaun Wane have graduated from this path, including Leeds Rhinos trio Kruise Leeming, Harry Newman and Mikolaj Oledzki, St Helens’ Matty Lees and Wigan Warriors’ Liam Marshall.

Lancashire 21-man squad: Joseph Baldwin (Wigan Warriors), McKenzie Buckley (St Helens), Jack Darbyshire (Warrington Wolves), George Delaney, Kalan Devine (both St Helens), Aiden Doolan (Warrington Wolves), Jacob Douglas ( Wigan Warriors), Ben Hartill, Leon Hayes (both Warrington Wolves), Sam Haynes (St Helens), Harvie Hill (Wigan Warriors), Ben Lane, Ciaran Nolan (both St Helens), Richards Nsemba (Wigan Warriors) Will Roberts , Dayon Sambou (both St Helens), Jack Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos), Jake Thewlis, Nolan Tupea (both Warrington Wolves), Leunbou Bardyell Wells (St Helens), Max Wood (Wigan Warriors).

Yorkshire 21-man squad: Bailey Aldridge (Leeds Rhinos), Bailey Arnold (Bradford Bulls), Denive Balmforth (Hull FC), Connor Barley (Hull Kingston Rovers), Alfie Edgehill (Leeds Rhinos), George Flanagan Jnr (Bradford Bulls) , Harrison Gilmore (Leeds Rhinos), Lucas Green (Warrington Wolves), Jake Higgins (Leeds Rhinos), Adam Holroyd (Warrington Wolves), Matt Laidlaw (Hull FC), Riley Lumb (Leeds Rhinos), Lewis Martin (Hull FC), Luke Mearns (Wakefield Trinity), Sullivan Medford (Hull FC), Kai Morgan (Leeds Rhinos), Xander Nash (Huddersfield Giants), Jason Qareqare (Castleford Tigers), Max Simpson, Jack Smith (both Leeds Rhinos), Leo Tennison ( Hull Kingston Rovers).

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