England gear up for Exiles challenge

England will step up their preparations for the forthcoming International Origin Match later today when national coach Steve McNamara and the 32-strong Elite Training Squad gather for an intensive two-day camp at Loughborough University.

Team selection plans and tactic for the match against the Exiles, a team drawn from the pick of Australian and New Zealand players in Engage Super League, will feature prominently on the agenda at the second ETS camp of 2011.

“The Exiles games is going to be a big part of our considerations over the next few days when we aim to keep the ETS players fully up to speed with our plans,” said McNamara.

“These camps are important parts of our planning and preparation, not just for the Exiles game but for the Four Nations at the end of the year.”

All 32 members of the ETS will be involved to varying degrees, including the players who are currently sidelined by injury such as Leeds Rhinos full-back Ben Jones Bishop and Leon Pryce, the St Helens stand-off.

“All the players have a part to play during the camp, it’s very important that they are involved and feel able to contribute,” added McNamara.

“It’s not just about us telling them what we want them to do; this is an opportunity for us to listen to what the elite players in our competition have to say.

“Our last camp was very much about theory and explaining the need for us to do things the England way: this time the emphasis is going to be more on the practical nature of our preparations and I envisage it being a very rewarding experience for all concerned.”

As well as the ETS players, McNamara will be joined by his full backroom team in their last gathering before they go into camp for a third time this year on the Sunday before the International Origin Match on Friday June 10.

Pre-purchased tickets for the International Origin match at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Friday June start from £19 for adults and £12 concessions and are available at www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or by contacting the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113. Tickets purchased on the day of the match start from £22 for adults and £15 for concessions.

England Elite Training Squad

Chris Bridge, Ben Harrison, Adrian Morley, Richard Myler, Ben Westwood (all Warrington); Tom Briscoe (Hull FC); Peter Fox, Liam Watts, Kris Welham (all Hull KR); Rob Burrow, Ryan Hall, Ben Jones-Bishop, Danny McGuire, Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield (all Leeds Rhinos); Danny Brough, Eorl Crabtree, Leroy Cudjoe, Luke Robinson (all Huddersfield Giants);  Michael McIlorum, Paul Prescott, Sam Tomkins, Joel Tomkins, Sean O’Loughlin (all Wigan Warriors); James Graham, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Leon Pryce, James Roby, Michael Shenton, Jon Wilkin (all St Helens); Tony Clubb (Harlequins); Brett Ferres (Castleford Tigers).