Walker set to coach Yorkshire Academy origin side

Chev Walker Leeds Rhinos Coach

‘Origin’ Academy Rugby League will return to its three-match series format this summer, following the enforced cancellation of the entire 2020 programme and a Covid-curtailed 2021.   

Yorkshire comfortably defeated Lancashire 40-10 behind closed doors in last year’s only Roses clash. This year the cream of the counties’ emerging under 18s talent will go head-to-head on the Sundays of 15 May, 26 June and 24 July.

Lancashire will be coached by Wigan Warriors’ Shane Eccles, a long-serving member of both his club’s scholarship and academy systems. His opposite number will be former England and Great Britain player Chev Walker, now Academy Head Coach at Leeds Rhinos. Assistant coaches will be announced in due course.  

Paul Anderson, Head of England Pathways, says: “The return of a full Academy programme in 2022 is a significant step forward for players, coaches, clubs and the game as a whole. This is how we identify and develop the talented players and coaches who have the potential to become elite performers on the domestic and international stage.  

“The programme benefits from elite facilities too. All training sessions ahead of each Origin match will be held at Leeds Beckett University – a world class campus which reflects the ambitions of our development programme. Residential camps will also be a feature of the Origin series, so that our best players are exposed to the camp environment they might experience at senior level and better understand the demands and expectations involved.  

“Also at the forefront of our minds is the recent announcement of a Youth World Cup in France in 2025. We’ll be aiming to show the Rugby League world that we have a talent system to be proud of and we’ll be working with clubs to develop a team capable of winning that competition.” 

England Academy is part of the RFL’s talent pathway, which also includes England Knights and the senior men’s squad. Several members of the England squad named recently be Shaun Wane are graduates of this pathway, including Leeds Rhinos’ trio Kruise Leeming, Harry Newman and Mikolaj Oledzki, Matty Lees of St Helens and Wigan Warriors’ Liam Marshall.     

The squads for the first Origin fixture will be announced on Monday 3 May.