A number of Castleford Tigers and Featherstone Rovers players have been included in the England under 18s, England under 16s and England women’s squads for 2017.
Young Tigers stars Callum McLelland and Calum Turner, who both featured for the club in their pre-season matches, have been included in the under 18s squad while set to train with the under 16s are promising Cas academy members Lewis Peachey and Ritchie Westwood.
The England women’s squad includes Featherstone’s Andrea Dobson, Emma Slowe, Kayleigh Bullman and Sarah Dunn.
Following a review of the international player pathway, England Rugby League’s Performance Department have launched a new National Performance Programme.
Feeling there was a need to upgrade and improve the current international programme below the Elite Squad level, the new pathway will have more of a focus on talent identification, player skill development, physical competences and the creation of a performance coaching environment.
A National Performance Training Squad Programme will also be established for the under 16 and under 18 elite player groups replacing the current England Youth and Academy programmes.
National Performance Training Squads (under 16, under 18 and women) will operate through national training centres. Up to 40 players can be selected to each group throughout the annual programme from the community game and academy structures by national staff.
Former Warrington Wolves player and Wales international Lee Briers will take over from Andy Kelly as head coach of England Academy and combine this role with his current position of assistant coach at Warrington.
International competitions will still continue to be played at under 16, under 18 and women’s level.
This year, the under 16 international programme will remain during the Easter period but from 2018 will be moved and commence once the Super League Scholarship programme is complete (July).
Under 18s will now start after the Super League Academy season is complete in October.
England Women will compete this year in the Rugby League World Cup in Australia.
The National Performance Programme will run on an annual basis from February – October.
National Performance Programme 2017 Squads:
Amir Bourouh (Wigan Warriors, Siddal)
Dominic Young (Huddersfield Giants, Dewsbury Moor)
Henry Collins (Warrington Wolves, South Trafford)
Jack Welsby (St Helens, Black Brook Royals)
Jack Wright (Warrington Wolves, Rylands)
Joshua Simm (St Helens, Thatto Heath Crusaders)
Lewis Peachey (Castleford Tigers, Nottingham Outlaws)
Matthew Foster (St Helens, Blackbrook Royals)
Max Roberts (Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook Royals)
Morgan Smithies (Wigan Warriors, Siddal)
Oliver Waite (Wigan Warriors, Siddal)
Riley Dean (Warrington Wolves, Siddal)
Ritchie Westwood (Castleford Tigers, Castleford Lock Lane)
Ryan Forshaw (Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook Royals)
Thomas Holroyd (Leeds Rhinos, Siddal)
Alex Tankard (Warrington Wolves)
Bobby Downs (City of Hull Academy)
Brad Pinder (St Helens)
Caine Barnes (Wigan Warriors)
Callum McLelland (Castleford Tigers)
Calum Turner (Castleford Tigers)
Cameron Scott (Bradford Bulls)
Cameron Smith (Leeds Rhinos)
Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings)
Harry Smith (Wigan Warriors)
Jack Brown (City of Hull Academy)
Jake Wardle (Huddersfield Giants)
James Worthington (Wigan Warriors)
Joe Brown (Bradford Bulls)
Joe Shorrocks (Wigan Warriors)
Jon Luke Kirby (Huddersfield Giants)
Jordan Olmez (St Helens)
Kevin Brown (St Helens)
Liam Walsh (Widnes Vikings)
Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos)
Owen Farnworth (Widnes Vikings)
Samual Kibula (Wigan Warriors)
Will Dagger (Warrington Wolves)
Will Oakes (City of Hull Academy)
Amy Hardcastle (Bradford Bulls)
Andrea Dobson (Featherstone Rovers)
Charlotte Booth (Bradford Bulls)
Claire Garner (Bradford Bulls)
Dani Bound (Thatto Heath)
Danika Priim (Bradford Bulls)
Emily Rudge (Thatto Heath)
Emma Slowe (Featherstone Rovers)
Faye Gaskin (Thatto Heath)
Georgia Sutherland (Leigh Miners Rangers)
Jenny Welsby (Thatto Heath)
Jodie Cunningham (Thatto Heath)
Kayleigh Bullman (Featherstone Rovers)
Lois Forsell (Bradford Bulls)
Sarah Dunn (Featherstone Rovers)
Tara Stanley (Thatto Heath)