20th June 2012, 10:04
The English Lions Under-18s squad has been announced for a two game tour of Lebanon later this summer.
The squad which is comprised of players from the community game includes Thatto Heath trio Jack Jones, Leon Tatlock and Jamie Tracie who compete in the Heinz Big Soup Conference Youth League.
These players all featured recently in the club’s National Cup win in Blackpool with Jack Jones named Man of the Match and Jamie Tracie scoring two tries.
Tour Captain is Millom’s Marcus O’Brien who also toured with the 2011 Community Lions Under-18s to South Africa alongside fellow squad members Jack Jones and full back Sam Forester.
English Lions Under-18s Head Coach, Kelvin Lockett said: “Things are looking good for the tour, there’s lots of great development work going on in Lebanon and this is a chance for their under-20s to test their arm against English opposition.”
“The whole squad have been briefed on the tour and they are very aware and well prepared. Beirut is a very multi-cultural city and it should be a fantastic tour.
“The team we’re playing have been through some selection processes and most play for universities and have a club background. They have done their homework, will have their best players out and we’re expecting a strong challenge, it will be a great opportunity for the players and staff to test themselves in this environment.”
The squad will have two training sessions at Milford in July prior to embarking from Manchester Airport for Beirut on Tuesday July 24.
In Lebanon the squad will be based in Beirut and will play Liban Espoir on Saturday July 28 and Wednesday August 1 before returning on Thursday August 3.
This is the first time since Espoirs were reformed to become the Under-20s that they will participate against an international team. The majority of the team are from the champions of the Shield Championship University of Balamand and most players have come up through Lebanon Under-16 and Under-18 programs.
The upcoming tour to Morocco between July 3 and 9 for the MENA championship should serve them well for preparation and team bonding.
Robin Hachache, Liban Espoir Head Coach said: “I am very happy to be coaching such a young and talented side. The boys are very enthusiastic and looking forward to test themselves against the English Lions Under-18s.”
1. Sam Forester Maryport
2. Leon Tatlock Thatto Heath
3. Ben Garner Barrow Island
4. Scott Pink Wath Brow
5. Tom Whittle Wigan St Judes
6. Matty Cooke Pilkington Recs
7. Marcus O'Brien(Capt) Millom
8. Chris Tomlinson Glasson Rangers
9. Leon Crellin Egremont Rangers
10. Perry Singleton Barrow Island
11. Daniel Rowell Kells
12. Karl Dixon Wath Brow
13. Ian Curnow Wath Brow
14. Ethan Kelly Mllom
15. Jamie Tracie Thatto Heath
16. Adam Jefferson Bradford Dudley Hill
17. Jack Jones Thatto Heath
18. Jack Green Latchford Albion
19. Tyler Craig Heworth
20. Lewis Sheridan Wigan St Cuthberts
English Lions Manager Andy Harland RFL
Team Manager Charlie Bray Milford Marlins
Head Coach Kelvin Lockett Bradford Dudley Hill
Assistant Coach Alan Davidson Cumbria
Assistant Coach Colin Phillips Thatto Heath
Assistant Coach Chris Baxter London
Physio Mark Smith Wakefield
From the Evening Mail.
MILLOM hooker Marcus O’Brien will lead the English Lions Under-18s into unfamiliar territory on a tour of Lebanon this summer.
The teenager – who last year was part of the Community Lions squad to tour South Africa – is one of four South Cumbrians from the amateur game who will play two matches in the Middle East.
Fellow Woollyback Ethan Kelly and Barrow Island duo Ben Garner and Perry Singleton will also make the trip, which starts on July 24.
Singleton – who toured the Netherlands with the national team last year and played in matches against Australia, Wales and France on home shores in the winter, is looking forward to the trip after initial nerves regarding the venue.
“When I first found out where we were going, it was a real question about what it is going to be like,” said the 18-year-old.
“But they have told us all about it and it is a nice place and I am quite excited to go and see the rugby out there and what level they are at.
“I’m not one to cope with the heat, but I’m excited about it. They are going to be quite physical and it’s going to be tough for us.”
The squad will be based in Lebanese capital Beirut and will play Liban Espoir – an under-20s side – on Saturday, July 28 and Wednesday, August 1 before returning home on Thursday, August 2.
Two training sessions will be held in the slightly cooler climate of Milford before the start of the tour.
English Lions Under-18s head coach Kelvin Lockett said: “Things are looking good for the tour, there’s lots of great development work going on in Lebanon and this is a chance for their under-20s to test their arm against English opposition.
“The whole squad have been briefed on the tour and they are very aware and well prepared. Beirut is a very multi-cultural city and it should be a fantastic tour.”
Liban Espoir head coach Robin Hachache said: “I am very happy to be coaching such a young and talented side. The boys are very enthusiastic and looking forward to testing themselves against the English Lions Under-18s.”
ENGLISH LIONS U18S SQUAD
Sam Forester (Maryport), Leon Tatlock (Thatto Heath), Ben Garner (Barrow Island), Scott Pink (Wath Brow), Tom Whittle (Wigan St Judes), Matty Cooke (Pilkington Recs), Marcus O’Brien (captain, Millom), Chris Tomlinson (Glasson Rangers), Leon Crellin (Egremont Rangers), Perry Singleton (Barrow Island), Daniel Rowell (Kells), Karl Dixon (Wath Brow), Ian Curnow (Wath Brow), Ethan Kelly (Millom), Jamie Tracie (Thatto Heath), Adam Jefferson (Bradford Dudley Hill), Jack Jones (Thatto Heath), Jack Green (Latchford Albion), Tyler Craig (Heworth), Lewis Sheridan (Wigan St Cuthberts).
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