HUDDERSFIELD Giants have been handed an extra form of motivation to continue their Super League play-off push after being given a major England snub.

National coach Tony Smith yesterday announced the first batch of players in the new elite England training squad.

And despite the Giants standing fourth in Super League and having reached the Challenge Cup quarter-final, all of their English players have been overlooked, although the initial 17-man squad will be increased throughout the rest of the season.

Captain Jamie Peacock is one of nine survivors from the World Cup, with St Helens stand-off Leon Pryce the most eye-catching absentee, along with that of a specialist full-back.

However, Smith will not restrict team selection to this squad and it’s still possible several Giants, along with the likes of Pryce, could still play against France in Paris next month.

Following on from recommendations of the World Cup review, Smith has broadened his selection, choosing his squad from nine of the 12 English Super League clubs, although there are still seven representatives from Leeds and St Helens.

The biggest surprise is the call-up of 19-year-old Hull winger Tom Briscoe, who is currently sidelined with an ankle injury.

More predictable selections are Salford’s 18-year-old scrum-half Richie Myler and Castleford pair Michael Shenton and Joe Westerman.

Forwards Sam Burgess (Bradford) and Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan) are also included after missing the World Cup through injury.

Smith said: "The first group of players are a mixture of youth and experience from a number of different clubs.

"I believe the players selected so far reflect that not only are we planning for this autumn’s Four Nations tournament but also the 2013 World Cup, which we hope to stage in this country.

"More players will be added to the programme throughout the season and the aim is to provide an elite training environment for a wide range of players from a variety of different clubs who, in turn, will benefit from their players being involved.

"Although only 17 players have been named so far, by no means does it guarantee their place in the mid-season Test against France or the upcoming Four Nations.

"As always, the playing squads will be picked on form which means the door is still wide open to all players with international aspirations."