Trio make England Performance Programme

Trio make England Performance Programme

27th February 2017

Widnes Vikings academy stars Danny Walker, Liam Walsh and Owen Farnworth have been selected for the new National Performance Programme with England Rugby League. 

The new pathway will have more of a focus on talent identification, player skill development, physical competences and the creation of a performance coaching environment.

A National Performance Training Squad Programme will also be established for the under-16 and under-18 elite player groups replacing the current England Youth and Academy programmes.

National Performance Training Squads (under-16, under-18 & Women) will operate through national training centres, with Lee Briers becoming Head Coach of England Academy. The National Performance Programme will run on an annual basis from February – October.

Denis Betts, Head Coach of Widnes Vikings, says: “Those three lads being in that group shows how far we have come. 

“From nearly disbanding our academy four years ago to now producing international academy players, it is a real pat on back for the town and the region and the Club."

“What we’re looking at, is trying to build something long term and to do that you need an academy that has the ability to produce quality players."

To read the full story, which includes reaction from Danny, Liam and Owen as well as more from Denis Betts, purchase our 'One Club' matchday programme against Castleford Tigers on Sunday 12th March.


National Performance Programme 2017 Squads:


Amir Bourouh (Wigan Warriors, Siddal)

Dominic Young (Huddersfield Giants, Dewsbury Moor)

Henry Collins (Warrington Wolves, South Trafford)

Jack Welsby (St Helens, Black Brook Royals)

Jack Wright (Warrington Wolves, Rylands)

Joshua Simm (St Helens, Thatto Heath Crusaders)

Lewis Peachey (Castleford Tigers, Nottingham Outlaws)

Matthew Foster (St Helens, Blackbrook Royals)

Max Roberts (Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook Royals)

Morgan Smithies (Wigan Warriors, Siddal)

Oliver Waite (Wigan Warriors, Siddal)

Riley Dean (Warrington Wolves, Siddal)

Ritchie Westwood (Castleford Tigers, Castleford Lock Lane)

Ryan Forshaw (Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook Royals)

Thomas Holroyd (Leeds Rhinos, Siddal)



Alex Tankard (Warrington Wolves)

Bobby Downs (City of Hull Academy)

Brad Pinder (St Helens)

Caine Barnes (Wigan Warriors)

Callum McLelland (Castleford Tigers)

Calum Turner (Castleford Tigers)

Cameron Scott (Bradford Bulls)

Cameron Smith (Leeds Rhinos)

Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings)

Harry Smith (Wigan Warriors)

Jack Brown (City of Hull Academy)

Jake Wardle (Huddersfield Giants)

James Worthington (Wigan Warriors)

Joe Brown (Bradford Bulls)

Joe Shorrocks (Wigan Warriors)

Jon Luke Kirby (Huddersfield Giants)

Jordan Olmez (St Helens)

Kevin Brown (St Helens)

Liam Walsh (Widnes Vikings)

Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos)

Owen Farnworth (Widnes Vikings)

Samual Kibula (Wigan Warriors)

Will Dagger (Warrington Wolves)

Will Oakes (City of Hull Academy)



Amy Hardcastle (Bradford Bulls)

Andrea Dobson (Featherstone Rovers)

Charlotte Booth (Bradford Bulls)

Claire Garner (Bradford Bulls)

Dani Bound (Thatto Heath)

Danika Priim (Bradford Bulls)

Emily Rudge (Thatto Heath)

Emma Slowe (Featherstone Rovers)

Faye Gaskin (Thatto Heath)

Georgia Sutherland (Leigh Miners Rangers)

Jenny Welsby (Thatto Heath)

Jodie Cunningham (Thatto Heath)

Kayleigh Bullman (Featherstone Rovers)

Lois Forsell (Bradford Bulls)

Sarah Dunn (Featherstone Rovers)

Tara Stanley (Thatto Heath)

Trio make England Performance Programme