England 19-man squad v France

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.

England squad: 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

Source: superleague.co.uk

Like

Your Two Cents...

No one has commented on this page yet. Why not kick things off?