Bateman to lead Academy
Bradford lock named England Academy skipper for Aussie tour
Last Updated: 19/06/12 5:19pm
John Bateman: Bradford's highly-rated young forward
Bradford forward John Bateman will captain the England Academy on their forthcoming four-match tour of Australia.
Bateman, who has made 13 first-team appearances for the Bulls this year, will fly out with the touring party on July 19.
The 18-year-old second rower is expected to be unavailable for four of his club's Super League matches.
England take on New South Wales Under-18s and Parramatta Juniors before facing the Australian Schoolboys in a two-Test series.
Wigan boast six members of a 24-man squad, which also includes Warrington second rower Ben Currie and Leeds stand-off Stevie Ward, who have made 10 Super League appearances between them this season.
Bateman's team will be hoping to emulate the feat of the 2004 squad led by James Graham - they were the last England Academy team to defeat the Aussies on home territory.
Academy coach Dave Elliott said: "We are under no illusions as to how tough the challenge will be but we have some very exciting and talented young players in this squad."
England Academy squad: B Currie (Warrington), C Farrell (Wigan), D Speakman (St Helens), G Bennion (Warrington), G Williams (Wigan), J Cunningham (Hull), J Duckworth (Leeds), J Saltonstall (Warrington), J Burgess (Wigan), J Bateman (Bradford, capt), J Ford (Salford), J Baldwinson (Leeds), J Johnson (Huddersfield), L Tierney (Wigan), L McAvoy (Bradford), L Sutcliffe (Leeds), L Briscoe (Leeds), L Thompson (St Helens), M Percival (St Helens), O Roberts (Bradford), P Aspinall (Huddersfield), R Hampshire (Wigan), R Sutton (Wigan), S Ward (Leeds).