THE town will have a representative in the England Lions team as rugby league features in the Commonwealth Games for the first time.

Pilkington Recs player Kyran Knapper made it into the 15-man under 19s England Lions squad set to compete in the Commonwealth Championship rugby league nines tournament at Cumbernauld’s Broadwood Stadium in North Lanarkshire.

Unfortunately Thatto Heath Crusaders’ Josh Crehan can no longer play after breaking his foot.

The England team open their campaign in the nines tournament against Canada on Friday, June 27 at 2.15pm before taking on Papua New Guinea and South Africa later that same day with the semi-finals and final due to take place the day after.

“I got a letter through the post telling me I had been chosen,” explains 18-year-old Knapper.

“It was pretty great being picked as I didn’t really expect it at all. It had been a couple of months since I had played for Lancashire so I thought had I been picked that it would have already happened.

“We’ve had a couple of sessions with the team and it’s been fine. It’s not far to go now – I just can’t wait,” he added.

Rugby league is featuring as a Commonwealth sport for the first time having been accepted as a category three sport by the Commonwealth Games.