3 days ago
England coach Paul Cullen has included four members of Hull FC?s beaten Grand Final team in his 19-man squad for Sunday?s Federation Shield match against France at Headingley.
Paul Cooke, Graeme Horne, Ewan Dowes and Lee Radford get the chance to shake off the disappointment of their 26-4 defeat by St Helens at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Radford, at 27, is the oldest player in a squad which includes two teenagers and whose average age is just 22.
"There is a great amount of young English talent in our game," Cullen told a news conference in Leeds.
"Super League is a lot healthier than some people might credit it for. When we went through the selection process, we had many names in every single position to consider.
"This 19-man squad has changed many times and we don?t think it?s been weakened by the fact players have been promoted from it into the Great Britain squad.
"It?s an England side with a point to prove, which is they all want to play for Great Britain in the World Cup in 2008."
Leeds Rhinos have the most representatives with seven, including Matt Diskin who was called up as a replacement for injured Warrington Wolves hooker Mark Gleeson.
Bradford Bulls second rower Matt Cook, 19, was another late inclusion but Cullen added: "There is no one coming into the squad that hasn?t been discussed for months."
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats centre Ryan Atkins will join the team once he has recovered from a hand injury while the squad could be boosted for follow9ing games by players discarded from the Great Britain party, currently in Australia preparing for Friday?s Tri-Nations warm-up game in Newcastle.
Cullen will name his captain when the squad go into camp on Thursday.
England?s fixture with France will be part of a double-header at Headingley, with Tonga playing Samoa in the opening Federation game which doubles as a World Cup qualifier.
Chris Ashton ? Wigan Warriors
Ryan Bailey ? Leeds Rhinos
Mark Calderwood ? Wigan Warriors
Matt Cook ? Bradford Bulls
Paul Cooke ? Hull FC
Eorl Crabtree ? Huddersfield Giants
Matt Diskin ? Leeds Rhinos
Ewan Dowes ? Hull FC
Brett Ferres ? Bradford Bulls
Ashley Gibson ? Leeds Rhinos
Graeme Horne ? Hull FC
Jamie Jones Buchanan ? Leeds Rhinos
Rob Purdham ? Harlequins RL
Lee Radford ? Hull FC
Jamie Rooney ? Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
Lee Smith ? Leeds Rhinos
Nick Scruton ? Leeds Rhinos
Richard Whiting ? Hull FC
Danny Williams ? Leeds Rhinos