Wildcats Academy youngster, Sam Doherty has been selected in the England Academy squad for this weekend’s international against the Australian Institute of Sport.
Doherty has been part of the Wildcats youth system since the age of 16 and is a product of the Hunslet Warriors amateur club.
The winger is in the initial 21-man squad and will be hoping to get his chance to test himself against some of the best young talent from the southern hemisphere at Leigh on Sunday.
England Coach Dave Elliott guided his charges to a 2-0 series win over the Australian Schoolboys last autumn and he’ll be hoping to see that success continue this year.
“We’re all very excited about getting back into camp and preparing to take on some of the best young players in the world,” he said.
“We’re very excited about this group of players and because they are under-17 instead of under-18, it will be interesting to see how they cope with making the step up to the Academy level.
“It’s a massive test for our lads and even more so because they’ll be playing against lads who are 18 and 19, but we have a lot of belief.
“There’s been a feel-good factor in the Academy set-up which started after the series win last year and it’s had a domino effect since then. The new players in the squad have really picked up on that and we want to keep the momentum going now and take it into 2012.
“The AIS are a talented outfit. They beat the French Under-17s 40-12 last week and they’re playing the French Under-19s as well so they will have some match practice before they play us. They’ll be a strong and powerful outfit, which is exactly what you’d expect from an Australian team, but we’ve got plenty of talent at our disposal as well.”
England Academy Under-17 Squad to face the Australian Institute of Sport (professional and community club in brackets):
Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves, Golbourne Parkside)
Connor Farrell (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)
Connor Spencer (Bradford Bulls, Hunslet Warriors)
Danny Yates (St Helens, Waterhead)
Dom Speakman (St Helens, Widnes St Maries)
George Williams (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)
Greg Richards (St Helens, Ulverston)
Greg Wilde (St Helens, Golbourne Parkside)
Jack Cockerham (Bradford Bulls, Castleford Lock Lane)
Jack Owens (Widnes Vikings, Farnsworth Hornets)
James Cunningham (Hull FC, East Hull)
James Duckworth (Leeds Rhinos, Whinmoor)
James Saltonstall (Warrington Wolves, Siddall)
John Bateman (Bradford Bulls, Dudley Hill)
Jordan Baldwinson (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)
Liam McAvoy (Bradford Bulls, Broughton Red Rose)
Luke Briscoe (Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions)
Mark Percival (St Helens, Halton Hornets)
Mike Learmonth (Warrington Wolves, Hunslet Warriors)
Sam Doherty (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Hunslet Warriors)
Stevie Ward (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)
Tickets for the England Academy v AIS fixture at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday, December 4 (3.00pm) cost just £3 and can be purchased by visiting Leigh Sports Village.
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