England have officially announced a 21 man elite performance squad that will work closely with Wayne Bennett throughout the season as he looks to finalise his squad for the New Zealand test.
Three quarters of the Super League are represented in the elite performance squad.
The squad consists of Luke Gale and Mike McMeekan of the Castleford Tigers, Jermaine McGillvary of the Huddersfield Giants, Scott Taylor of Hull FC, Ryan Hall and Stevie Ward of Leeds Rhinos, Jonny Lomax, Mark Percival, James Roby and Alex Walmsley of St Helens, Tom Johnstone of Wakefield Trinity, Kevin Brown, Daryl Clark, Ben Currie, Chris Hill and Stefan Ratchford of Warrington Wolves and John Bateman, Sean O’Loughlin and George Williams of Wigan Warriors.
The squad will meet regularly throughout the season and will hope to form the squad that will take on New Zealand in Denver and in this country.
England Knights also return this year having not played together since 2013, and they hope to keep the set up for a long time under new coach Paul Anderson.
All English based Super League sides, plus the London Broncos from the Championship are represented in the ex Giants head coach’s squad.
The squad consists of Greg Minikin and Jake Trueman of the Tigers, Kruise Leeming of the Giants, Josh Bowden, Jake Connor, Dean Hadley, Masimbaashe Matongo and Jamie Shaul from Hull FC, Chris Atkin from Hull KR, Liam Sutcliffe and Jack Walker of the Rhinos, James Cunningham of the Broncos, Joe Burgess, Tom Davies, Oliver Gildart, Sam Powell and Ryan Sutton of the Warriors, Niall Evalds of the Salford Red Devils, Danny Richardson and Luke Thompson of St Helens, Reece Lyne of Trinity, Jack Hughes of the Wolves and Tom Gilmore, Danny Walker and Matt Whitley of Widnes Vikings.
All players will hope to be in the England squad for the mid season test in Denver and then the home series which will take place in November.