Hull FC’s Josh Griffin has been named in Shaun Wane’s 35-man England squad ahead of next Tuesday’s (13 April) training session at Leeds Beckett University.
The announcement comes precisely 200 days before England kick off RLWC2021 against Samoa at St James’s Park, Newcastle, on Saturday 23 October.
Griffin was originally named in the England squad last season, but will take part in a physical session with the national side for the first tine next week after an impressive start to the 2021 Betfred Super League campaign.
The centre has scored in both of Hull’s opening games, in victories over Huddersfield and Salford.
The session will be Wane’s first physical session with his players since his appointment more than 12 months ago, as preparation builds towards June’s mid-season international against the Combined Nations All Stars.
Seven NRL-based players are included in the squad and, although they will not be at the Leeds Beckett session, they will have regular contact with the England coaching team.
England Head Coach, Shaun Wane, says: “Names will come and go as the season unfolds, but the 35 players I’ve named reflect my current thinking. They are all capable of playing to an England standard. They know what’s expected at international level and the heights they must hit.
“We have a good mix of youth and experience, and age is no barrier. The thirty-somethings in the squad are playing some good rugby. And if a 17-year-old puts his hand up and shows me he’s got what it takes, he’ll be in.
“I watch every Super League game, every week, multiple times and I’m seeing some good things so far from England players. I keep a very close eye on the NRL too. Those players can’t join us at Leeds Beckett, but I’ll make sure they get the same information as the players who can.
“The session at Leeds is all about introducing players to my systems – how we’ll defend, how we’ll attack and so on. They are some of the best players around and they’ll get it very quickly. It’s an important part of our preparation for the mid-season international against the All Stars and for the World Cup too.”
England play Combined Nations All Stars at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday 25 June 25 – part of an historic double-header featuring the Men’s and Women’s teams. England Women face Wales at 6pm, before Shaun Wane takes charge of the England team for the first time at 8pm.
Tickets are on sale now via the RFL website, priced £20 for adults and £10 for under U16s. An initial 4,000 tickets are available, with the hope that further areas of the stadium will become available as social distancing requirements ease.
The squad in full
John Bateman (Wigan Warriors),
Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs),
Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves),
Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves),
Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves),
Niall Evalds (Castleford Tigers),
Herbie Farnworth (Brisbane Broncos),
Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors),
Luke Gale (Leeds Rhinos),
Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors),
Josh Griffin (Hull FC),
Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos),
Zak Hardaker (Wigan Warriors),
Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders),
Tom Johnstone (Wakefield Trinity),
Toby King (Warrington Wolves),
Morgan Knowles (St Helens),
Jonny Lomax (St Helens),
Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants),
Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers),
Tommy Makinson (St Helens),
Dom Manfredi (Wigan Warriors),
Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos),
Mark Percival (St Helens),
Joe Philbin, (Warrington Wolves),
Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves),
James Roby (St Helens),
Dan Sarginson (Salford Red Devils),
Ryan Sutton (Canberra Raiders),
Luke Thompson (Canterbury Bulldogs),
Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons),
Alex Walmsley (St Helens),
Kallum Watkins (Salford Red Devils),
Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders),
George Williams (Canberra Raiders).