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Warrington Wolves trio named in England Academy squad for summer tour
4:00pm Tuesday 19th June 2012 in Wolves news
THREE Warrington Wolves players can start packing their bags for Australia!
Ben Currie, Gavin Bennion and James Saltonstall have been selected for the England Academy tour, leaving on July 19.
They are part of a 24-man squad named today that can now prepare to take on New South Wales Under 18s and Parramatta Under 18s before facing the Australian Schoolboys in a two-Test series.
Former Parkside Golborne amateur Currie, a back row forward, has broken into Wolves’ Super League team this year and the flight out of Britain would come four days after his 18th birthday.
Bennion, an 18-year-old back rower or prop, started out with Latchford Albion and Rylands Sharks, while Saltonstall, a centre or back rower, came to the club from Halifax-based Siddal. Both have been representing the highly successful Warrington Wolves under 20s team.
The squad, captained by Bradford Bulls’ John Bateman - a player whom Wolves have made a six-figure bid for - will be led by former Warrington Wolves player and assistant coach Dave Elliott.
They will travel Down Under hoping to emulate the feats of the 2004 England Academy squad who, captained by James Graham, were the last England Academy team to defeat the Aussies on home territory.
Elliott is confident his squad can repeat that success.
“It has been very tough choosing the final 24 man squad,” said Elliott. “We’ve got a lot of talented players at this age group and there are a lot of disappointed players who have missed out on selection.
“For those that have made it into the squad, being able to represent your country on a tour in Australia is a fantastic honour. It’s a great opportunity and one that many players will never experience - so this is a special opportunity for this group.
“We are going there hoping to emulate the success of 2004 and win the series, so the pressure is on us to perform. The players have all said that they want to win - they’re all very determined to do the shirt proud.
“We are under no illusions as to how tough the challenge will be but we have some very exciting and talented young players in this squad and I’m confident that they’ll be able to deliver the results that we want.”
England Academy 24-man touring squad: Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Connor Farrell (Wigan Warriors), Dominic Speakman (St Helens), Gavin Bennion (Warrington Wolves), George Williams (Wigan Warriors), James Cunningham (Hull FC), James Duckworth (Leeds Rhinos), James Saltonstall (Warrington Wolves), Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors), John Bateman (Bradford Bulls), John Ford (Salford City Reds), Jordan Baldwinson (Leeds Rhinos), Josh Johnson (Huddersfield Giants), Lewis Tierney (Wigan Warriors), Liam McAvoy (Bradford Bulls), Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos), Luke Briscoe (Leeds Rhinos), Luke Thompson (St Helens), Mark Percival (St Helens), Oliver Roberts (Bradford Bulls), Peter Aspinwall (Huddersfield Giants), Ryan Hampshire (Wigan Warriors), Ryan Sutton (Wigan Warriors), Steve Ward (Leeds Rhinos).