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Four Saints players in England Academy squad
4:13pm Friday 13th July 2012 in Sport
FOUR Saints players are included in the England Academy squad due to depart for a three-week trip to Australia next Thursday (July 19).
Dominic Speakman, Greg Wilde, Luke Thompson and Mark Percival are in the 24-man squad that goes into battle against their Australian counterparts.
The Academy will take on New South Wales juniors and Parramatta juniors before playing a two-Test series against the Australian Schoolboys and Bateman is confident that the class of 2012 can emerge victorious over their fierce rivals.
The Australian Schoolboys have named the 17 men they think will put paid to England’s ambitions but skipper John Bateman is confident England can prevail against a side that has seen the likes of Greg Inglis and Jamie Lyon pass through the ranks in previous years.
“We’ve heard bits and pieces about the Schoolboys so far and we know they’re some of the best players in Australia,” Bateman said.
“We know it’s going to be a tough test for us but it’s a challenge all the guys are looking forward to and one we’re excited to face.
“We’re confident we can go there and win and perform to the level we know we can. We’re not going down there to loose - we’re going for a reason and that’s to beat them.
“It would be unbelievable to come back as the captain of a winning touring side and that’s my aim.”
England Academy Tour Schedule: July 25 – Warm-up game v New South Wales Under-18s at Narrabeen.
July 28 – Warm-up game v Parramatta Juniors at Parramatta.
August 5 – Test 1 v Australian Schoolboys at Canberra.
August 11 – Test 2 v Australian Schoolboys at Wynum.
England Academy 24-man touring squad (professional and community clubs): Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Connor Farrell (Wigan Warriors), Dominic Speakman (St Helens), Gavin Bennion (Warrington Wolves), George Williams (Wigan Warriors), Greg Wilde (St Helens), James Cunningham (Hull FC), James Duckworth (Leeds Rhinos), James Saltonstall (Warrington Wolves), Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors), John Bateman (Bradford Bulls), John Ford (Salford City Reds), Jordan Baldwinson (Leeds Rhinos), Josh Johnson (Huddersfield Giants), Lewis Tierney (Wigan Warriors), Liam McAvoy (Bradford Bulls), Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos), Luke Briscoe (Leeds Rhinos), Luke Thompson (St Helens), Mark Percival (St Helens), Peter Aspinwall (Huddersfield Giants), Ryan Hampshire (Wigan Warriors), Ryan Sutton (Wigan Warriors), Steve Ward (Leeds Rhinos).