St Helens players yet to be considered for internationals as 28-man squad revealed

England pathways coach Paul Sculthorpe. Picture: SWpix
England pathways coach Paul Sculthorpe. Picture: SWpix

A squad of 28 has been unveiled for England's World Cup Nines campaign, the first Great Britain tour since 2006 and the England Knights fixture against Jamaica at Headingley on October 20.

That includes 12 players from the Great Britain performance squad that was announced earlier this month and 16 from the Knights performance squad that was last revised in July.

The group does not include players from the three teams still competing for the Super League title - St Helens, Wigan and Salford - or any of the NRL-based players.

Warrington full-back Stefan Ratchford is the notable omission from the first group of players named for the autumn internationals.

Ratchford, who was on the bench for England's last match against New Zealand last November, has been left out, along with his Warrington team-mate Josh Charnley, the former Wigan winger.

Also omitted are the Hull pair of full-back Jamie Shaul and prop Scott Taylor, while Leeds back rower Stevie Ward has been left out after playing only two games in 2019 due to injury.

Warrington's Australia-born stand-off Blake Austin injured a knee in his club's last match of the season but is expected to be fit for the start of the Lions tour.

The squad will meet up this week for the first two of four sessions at the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance under England Knights head coach Paul Anderson and England pathways coach Paul Sculthorpe.

The four Castleford players - Knights duo Mike McMeeken and Greg Minikin and GB pair Jake Trueman and Liam Watts - have been given an additional week off to recover from their team's play-off defeat at Salford on Thursday.

England's 16-man squad for the inaugural World Cup Nines in Sydney will be announced next Sunday ahead of their departure on Saturday October 12.

The 24-man squad for the four-match Lions tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, which gets under way against Tonga in Hamilton on October 26, will be announced on Monday October 14 ahead of their departure for Sydney 48 hours later.

That group will attend the Nines and link up with those members of the England squad who have also been selected for Great Britain to fly on to Auckland on October 20.

Training group: M McMeeken, G Minikin, J Trueman, L Watts (Castleford), S Tomkins (Catalans Dragons), M English, K Leeming, J McGillvary, D McIntosh, O Wilson (Huddersfield), J Bowden, J Connor, M Matongo (Hull FC), C Atkin (Hull KR), A Handley, H Newman, M Oledzski, C Smith (Leeds), R Butler (London Broncos), R Lyne (Wakefield), B Austin, D Clark, C Hill, J Hughes, T King, T Lineham, J Philbin, D Walker (Warrington).