THE international rugby league calendar is fast approaching with lots of Warrington interest.

Wolves co-captain Jack Hughes and Guardian readers’ player of the year Daryl Clark will get an early chance to strike up combinations with new Wire signing Gareth Widdop in the England Nines team.

Hughes and Clark will fly out to Sydney with the rest of the UK-based players on Saturday in preparation for the Downer World Cup Nines at the new Bankwest Stadium the following weekend.

The trio are also among an initial 11 to have had their selections confirmed for the resurrected Great Britain brand, so they will then join the rest of the Lions touring party in New Zealand to get set for clashes with Tonga, New Zealand in a two-match series, and Papua New Guinea.

England Nines 16-man squad: James Graham (Cpt), Gareth Widdop (both St George Illawarra Dragons), Elliott Whitehead, Ryan Sutton (Canberra Raiders), Ryan Hall (Sydney Roosters), Tom Burgess (South Sydney), Jake Trueman, Liam Watts (Castleford Tigers), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons), Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity), Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos), Jake Connor (Hull FC).

England Women will also be featuring in the World Cup Nines, with Warringtonians Jodie Cunningham, Tara Jones and Emily Rudge (all St Helens) selected in a 24-strong squad that will then tour PNG.

Nines fixtures (Sky Sports):

Friday, Oct 18: 8.45am, England Women v PNG; 9.10am, England v Wales.

Saturday, Oct 19: 2.20am, England v Lebanon; 4.35am, Australia v England Women; 5.25am, England v France; 8.05am, New Zealand v England Women. Note: Men’s semi-finals, plus men’s and women’s finals to follow.

Alongside Clark, Hughes and Widdop in the initial 11-man GB selections are Tom Burgess, Jake Connor, James Graham, Ryan Hall, Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Trueman, Elliott Whitehead, George Williams. The final 13 will be confirmed on Monday, with The Wire’s Chris Hill and Joe Philbin in contention.

Great Britain fixtures (BBC): Saturday, Oct 26, 8am, Tonga v GB (BBC2); Saturday, Nov 2, 4am, New Zealand v GB (BBC1); Saturday, Nov 9, 7am, New Zealand v GB (BBC2); Saturday, Nov 16, 7.30am, PNG v GB (BBC2).

Five Wire players are in contention to represent England Knights in a one-off international against Jamaica at Headingley on Sunday, October 20, kick-off 3pm.

Toby King, Tom Lineham, Joe Philbin, Declan Patton and Danny Walker were all named in an updated Knights performance squad in the summer.

Five Wolves youngsters have been named in the England Academy squad to face Wales on Saturday, October 19.

Josh Thewlis, who made two first-team appearances and scored one try in 2019, is included in the 22-man party for the game in Llanelli.

Jacob Gannon, Ellis Longstaff, George Roby and Connor Wrench make up the Wire contingent in the squad.

England Academy squad: Danny Atley (Castleford Tigers), Lewis Baxter (St Helens), Joe Burton (Leeds Rhinos), Lewis Dodd (St Helens), Alex Donaghy (Newcastle Thunder), Jacob Dugdale (Widnes Vikings), Jacob Gannon (Warrington Wolves), Corey Hall (Leeds Rhinos), Umyla Hanley (Wigan Warriors), Ellis Longstaff (Warrinton Wolves), Aidan McGowan (Huddersfield Giants), Isaac Nokes (Newcastle Thunder), Jamie Pye (St Helens), George Roby (Warrington Wolves), Rian Rowley (Leeds Rhinos), Harry Rushton (Wigan Warriors), Harry Shackleton (Bradford Bulls), Iwan Stephens (Leeds Rhinos), Robson Stevens (Huddersfield Giants), Josh Thewlis (Warrington Wolves), Liam Tindall (Leeds Rhinos), Conor Wrench (Warrington Wolves)

Meanwhile, the Ireland train-on squad for this autumn’s final European qualifiers for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup includes Warrington’s new signing from Widnes Keanan Brand, rising half-back talent Riley Dean and the club’s departing young prop Pat Moran.

They could be involved in matches against Spain in Valencia on Saturday, October 26, and Italy in Dublin on Saturday, November 9. That Spain train-on squad includes Crosfields’ former Woolston Rovers back Danny Garcia.

Finally, Greece have European qualifiers to play against Scotland and Serbia in November and they are coached by former Wire hooker Steve Georgallis.