Knights Call Ups For Tigers

Posted: Tuesday 26th March 2019 - 11:35 AM

Alex Foster, Oliver Holmes and Greg Minikin have all been included in the Knight Performance squad for 2019, rewarding their excellent form over the past couple of seasons.

The announcement comes fresh off the Tigers having four players named in the England Elite Performance Squad meaning seven Castleford stars are now involved in the International set up.

Holmes made his full international debut in a friendly against France at the end of 2018 before travelling to Papua New Guinea with England Knights for their two game series with PNG. He has only recently returned to the field after off-season shoulder surgery but is already looking back to his best.

During 2018, Minikin was involved in the KPS set up but unfortunately injury prevented the 23-year old from touring with the team at the end of last season.

For Foster the call up to the Knights Performance Squad is a reward for some incredibly consistent performances since joining the Tigers in 2017. His season last year ended with a terrible Lisfranc injury that saw him side-lined for the back end of 2018.

Elsewhere in the squad, Dom Manfredi, who scored two tries in Wigan’s Betfred Super League Grand Final victory over Warrington last autumn, is joined by fellow winger Liam Marshall and Blackpool-born former Barrow forward Joe Bullock – lifting the Warriors’ representation in the KPS to five, as Tom Davies and Sam Powell are also included after impressing on the Knights tour of Papua New Guinea last autumn.

Matt English, Adam O’Brien and Darnell McIntosh are the three Huddersfield newcomers, meaning the Giants also have five players in the squad as Kruise Leeming and Oliver Roberts retain their places after call-ups last year.

Warrington Wolves have the most players in the squad with six, followed by Leeds, Wigan and Huddersfield with five each.

The squad is completed by three players from St Helens, three from Castleford, two from each of Salford and Hull FC, plus James Batchelor of Wakefield Trinity, Hull KR’s Chris Atkin, and Matt Whitley of the Catalans Dragons.

The KPS will join the 30-man England Performance Squad at their first get-together of the season next month, and will hold a number of other meetings and training sessions in the remainder of the year – with at least one home fixture being planned for this autumn, when the senior Great Britain squad are on tour in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Paul Anderson, the England Knights head coach, said: “We think this is an exciting group of players, all of whom know from their selection that they are very much in the thoughts of the England coaches.

“Involvement in the Knights set-up gives them the chance to impress, as has been shown by the England debuts made by so many players from the KPS last year, and the inclusion in this year’s England Performance Squad of Robbie Mulhern and our 2018 captain Jack Hughes.

“The trip to Papua New Guinea last year was such a memorable trip for all of us but also a massive benefit both physically and mentally as we develop elite level players for future tournaments, building towards the 2021 and 2025 World Cups.”

England Knights Performance Squad in full:

Alex Foster (Castleford Tigers, Wetherby Bulldogs)
Oliver Holmes (Castleford Tigers, Normanton Knights)
Greg Minikin (Castleford Tigers, Wetherby Bulldogs)

Matt Whitley (Catalans Dragons, Bold Miners)
Matt English (Huddersfield Giants, Stanley Rangers)
Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)
Darnell McIntosh (Huddersfield Giants, Dewsbury Celtic)
Adam O’Brien (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)
Oliver Roberts (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)
Chris Atkin (Hull KR, Liverpool John Moores University)
Dean Hadley (Hull FC, Skirlaugh)
Masimbaashe Matongo (Hull FC, West Hull)
Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)
Cameron Smith (Leeds Rhinos, Lock Lane)
Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)
Jack Walker (Leeds Rhinos, East Leeds)
Niall Evalds (Salford Red Devils, Siddal)
Josh Jones (Salford Red Devils, Blackbrook Royals)
Jack Ashworth (St Helens, Rochdale Mayfield)
Matt Lees (St Helens, Rochdale Mayfield)
Danny Richardson (St Helens, Halton Farnworth Hornets)
James Batchelor (Wakefield Trinity, Crigglestone All Blacks)
Toby King (Warrington Wolves, Meltham All Blacks)
Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves, York RUFC)
Harvey Livett (Warrington Wolves, Rylands Sharks)
Dec Patton (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Giants)
Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves, Culcheth Eagles)
Danny Walker (Warrington Wolves, Rylands Sharks)
Joe Bullock (Wigan Warriors, Blackpool Scorpion)
Tom Davies (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Liam Marshall (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Dom Manfredi (Wigan Warriors, Leigh Miners)
Sam Powell (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

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