England Academy head coach Andy Kelly has confirmed he will be using all members of his 24-man squad when they play against Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium on Saturday July 23 (2.00pm AEST).
The under-18s are into the second week of their Australian Tour and the game against Penrith will be their first warm-up ahead of the forthcoming Tests against Australian Schoolboys.
The squad have been based at the $22 million state-of-the-art Panthers Rugby League Academy which features two full-size all-weather training fields, two gymnasiums, hot and cold plunge pools, a 61-seat team auditorium, medical rooms and a number of recreational areas for players and staff.
Kelly has been impressed with the players so far and the way they have adapted to their new surroundings: “Since leaving the UK to arriving in Penrith the boys have been fantastic. You could tell they just wanted to get started as soon as they walked off the plane.
“The attitude and mood in the camp is extremely professional. These boys know they’re not just here for a holiday and have a job to do. Everyone has bonded really well and clicking like a team should.
“Obviously we were all disappointed at the Canterbury news, but we had to get over that quickly and focus on our next challenge. I’d also like to thank Sydney Roosters for stepping in at the last minute for putting on a great training session for the players. It’s definitely something they’ll be talking about when they get back home.”
On the Penrith Panthers game, Kelly said: “Penrith are a great club and have some world-class facilities available to them. They’re development system is something that a lot of clubs look at and strive to replicate.
“After two weeks of being in the gym, on the training field and talking about our game, the boys are ready to get out there and perform.
“I’m giving all 24 players a run out in this game as this will be their final opportunity to show me and the coaching staff how much they want to be in that final 17 for the first Test against Australia next week.”
England Academy 24-man squad (professional club and community club in brackets):
Caine Barnes (Wigan Warriors, Seaton Rangers)
James Batchelor (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Oulton Raiders)
Matthew Costello (St Helens, Orrell St James)
Matthew English (Huddersfield Giants, Stanley Rangers)
Rob Fairclough (St Helens, Blackbrook Royals)
Owen Farnworth (Widnes Vikings, Chorley Panthers)
Callum Field (Wigan Warriors, Stanley Rangers)
Conor Fitzsimmons (Castleford Tigers, Seaton Rangers)
Josh Ganson (Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook Royals)
Lewis Heckford (Wigan Warriors, Stanley Rangers)
Ryan Jones (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Jez Litten (City of Hull Academy, West Hull)
Judah Mazive (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Oulton Raiders)
Craig Mullen (Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook Royals)
Will Oakes (City of Hull Academy, Eastmoor Dragons)
Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)
Liam Paisley (Wigan Warriors, Dalton)
Cameron Smith (Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Panthers)
Morgan Smith (Warrington Wolves, Stanley Rangers)
Brad Walker (Widnes Vikings, Askam)
Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings, Crosfields)
Liam Walsh (Widnes Vikings, Halton and Farnworth Hornets)
Joe Wardill (City of Hull Academy, Beverley Braves)
Jack Wells (Wigan Warriors, Folly Lane)
England Academy – Australia Tour 2016 schedule:
Saturday July 23 – England Academy v Penrith Panthers (2.30pm AEST, Pepper Stadium)
Sunday July 31 – England Academy v Australia High Schools (2.00pm AEST, Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe, QLD)
Saturday August 6 – England Academy v Australia High Schools (1.15pm AEST, Southern Cross Group Stadium)