The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The work of the Wigan Rugby League Junior Development Programme has borne yet more fruit with the selection of no fewer than nine of the young Warriors for the Lancashire Under 18s Junior Academy County of Origin squad.
David Allen, Kevin Brown, Liam Colbon, Scott Gandy, Harrison Hansen, Bryn Hargreaves, Martyn Kenyon, Chris Melling and Desi Williams all figure in the squad which will take on Yorkshire on Sunday 11th. May at the Odsal Stadium, Bradford, where the game will form the curtain-raiser to the Bradford Bulls Tetleys Super League clash with the Castleford Tigers.
Speaking about the news Warriors Rugby Executive Dean Bell said,
"The club is very proud to have so many players selected and it reflects our on going commitment to produce home grown talent. As we have already seen this year there are players breaking into 1st grade and the production line right through to our U14 Scholarships is very strong. We cannot take all the credit as we just follow up the tremendous work being done by all the volunteers in the amateur game."
They will come up against a Yorkshire side which is likely to include in it's ranks young Stuart Crooks of Hull FC, son of Lee Crooks, the former Hull, Leeds, Castleford and Great Britain forward, who will be assistant coach to Huddersfield's Lee St. Hillaire for the Series. Yorkshire also seem likely to include Karl Pryce, a younger brother of Bradford's Super League star Leon, and Kirk Netherton of Hull, whose elder brother Jason currently plays for the Leeds Rhinos.
The Lancashire side will be coached by Gary Chambers of Warrington Wolves, assisted by Halifax's Rochdale-based Gareth Pratt.
After taking something of a battering from Yorkshire in the equivalent Serieslast year, the Red Rose outfit will be out to show that they can do much better, and the extra understanding of such a significant contingent of Wigan players could have a vital bearing in the result.
Graham Emmerson - Wigan Warriors Press Officer