Atkin and Mulhern selected for England Knights
Hull Kingston Rovers duo Chris Atkin and Robbie Mulhern have been selected in the England Knights squad who will head for Papua New Guinea via Brisbane later this month to play two international fixtures against the Kumuls.
The Knights were revived earlier this year by the Rugby Football League, at the instigation of Kevin Sinfield MBE in his role as rugby director, as a key part of England’s preparations for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup – and will be coached by Paul Anderson, the former England and Great Britain prop, assisted by his former St Helens and international team-mate Paul Sculthorpe MBE.
Sculthorpe was a member of the last Great Britain to play in Papua New Guinea, in 1996, making his international debut as a 19-year-old in the 32-30 victory over the Kumuls in Lae – the venue for the first international of this tour.
“I’m as excited about the squad as I am about the trip,” said Anderson.
“When you add it to the England squad that was named earlier this week for the autumn internationals, it shows we’ve got a real depth of talent coming through.
“Playing in Papua New Guinea is going to be a completely different experience for all the players in our squad. That off-field touring experience is one of the reasons reviving the Knights was so important.
“We’re expecting a warm welcome in a country where they love their rugby league, and hopefully our visit will also be a boost for rugby league in PNG.
“The lads have already seen from the elevation of Joe Greenwood and Reece Lyne from the Knights squad to the senior England squad the sort of opportunities that could open up if they impress on this trip.”
The Knights leave on October 18 for a week’s preparation at the state-of-the-art Brisbane Broncos training base.
They then fly to Lae for the first match against the Kumuls on Saturday October 27, before moving to the capital Port Moresby where the teams meet again at the 15,000-capacity Oil Search National Football Stadium on November 3.
England Knights Squad:
Oliver Holmes (Castleford Tigers, Normanton Knights)
Greg Minikin (Castleford Tigers, Wetherby Bulldogs)
Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)
Chris Atkin (Hull KR, Widnes St Maries)
Robbie Mulhern (Hull KR. Normanton Knights)
Jamie Shaul (Hull FC, Skirlaugh)
Dean Hadley (Hull FC, Skirlaugh)
Brad Fash (Hull FC, West Hull)
Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)
Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)
Jack Walker (Leeds Rhinos, East Leeds)
Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Danny Richardson (St Helens, Halton Hornets)
Matt Lees (St Helens, Rochdale Mayfield)
James Batchelor (Wakefield Trinity, Crigglestone All Blacks)
Sam Powell (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors, Chorley Panthers)
Tom Davies (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Harvey Livett (Warrington Wolves, Rylands Sharks)
Jack Hughes (Warrington Wolves, Golborne Parkside)
Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves, Culcheth Eagles)
Toby King (Warrington Wolves, Meltham All Backs)
Matt Whitley (Widnes Vikings, Bold Miners)
Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings, Rylands Sharks)