GIANTS coach Nathan Brown is delighted to have three of his players in England’s Elite Training Squad.
NATHAN BROWN is hoping several other members of the Giants squad can force their way into the Elite England set-up.
Danny Brough, Leroy Cudjoe and Eorl Crabtree have all been named in coach Steve McNamara’s 32-strong Elite England Training Squad.
There is, however, no place in the set-up for captain Kevin Brown and Luke Robinson, who played for England in the 2010 Four Nations.
That’s something that disappoints Brown, particularly over the Robinson no-show.
But he’s confident that if the duo continue to come up with the goods, they can eventually get back on the international scene.
"It’s great for our three blokes who’ve been picked," said Brown (pictured right).
"Their selection underlines the start we’ve made to the season, and no-one can deny they’ve not been picked on merit.
"Yet at the same time, I am a bit disappointed that we’ve just got the three of them in there.
"I’d have certainly liked to have seen Robbo in there, because he’s done some good things for us and has shown what he can bring to the England team.
"It’s less than 12 months ago he was the man-of-the-match for England in the Origin Test against the Exiles.
"I suppose not having a full pre-season and playing in a new position has counted against Kev, but he’s picking up every week and if he continues to do that then he must come back into the reckoning.
The biggest surprise in the England squad has to be the selection of Catalan Dragons’ Torquay-born, Australia-raised hooker Ian Henderson, who played for Scotland in the last World Cup.
There is also a place in McNamara’s squad for Wigan forward Gareth Hock, who last played on the international stage in June 2009 when England defeated France 66-12 in Paris.
Hock returned last year from a two-year ban for cocaine use and has been in impressive form for his club so far this year.
Also called up are Leeds centre pair Kallum Watkins and Zak Hardaker and Hock’s Wigan teammates Josh Charnley and Lee Mossop, who have all been promoted from the England Knights squad to join 19 players who were involved in the 2011 Four Nations Series.
McNamara unveiled his squad at a press conference at St Helens, where it was confirmed England will play two mid-season fixtures against the Exiles before meeting Wales and France in an end-of-year triangular tournament.
This year there will be a stand-alone fixture on Saturday, June 16, with players not required to back up immediately for their Super League clubs, followed by a second game on Wednesday, July 4, with the venues yet to be decided.
England elite training squad:@ Carl Ablett (Leeds), Ryan Bailey (Leeds), Chris Bridge (Warrington), Tom Briscoe (Hull), Danny Brough (Huddersfield), Rob Burrow (Leeds), Garreth Carvell (Warrington), Josh Charnley (Wigan), Rangi Chase (Castleford), Eorl Crabtree (Huddersfield), Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield), Ryan Hall (Leeds), Zak Hardaker (Leeds), Ian Henderson (Catalan Dragons), Gareth Hock (Wigan), Ben Jones-Bishop (Leeds) Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds), Jonny Lomax (St Helens), Danny McGuire (Leeds), Michael McIlorum (Wigan), Adrian Morley (Warrington), Lee Mossop (Wigan), Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan), Jamie Peacock (Leeds, captain), James Roby (St Helens), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds), Sam Tomkins (Wigan), Kallum Watkins (Leeds), Kris Welham (Hull KR), Ben Westwood (Warrington), Jon Wilkin (St Helens), Kirk Yeaman (Hull).