Quartet Selected For Lancashire Academy

Quartet Selected For Lancashire Academy widnesvikings.co.uk

13th July 2018

Widnes Vikings Academy quartet, Ben Davies, Jarrod O’Connor, Jayden Hatton and Sam Walters, have been selected for Lancashire ahead of the first Academy ‘Origin’ fixture. 

After an encouraging year for the Club’s U19s, all four players have been picked in a 20-man squad to take on Yorkshire at the Provident Stadium on Saturday 28th July. 

For both Ben Davies and Sam Walters, this comes as the second representative call-up in a matter of months, following their selection in the England Academy National Performance Squad after a string of highly impressive performances on the field. 

Jarrod O’Connor and Jayden Hatton are receiving their first recognition at this level, and the call ups are fully deserved after their performances in the Academy.

Ben Davies, who has operated efficiently in a number of positions during his time in the Academy, has gained recognition for producing high quality performances at half back this year. Ben played his community rugby at Halton Farnworth Hornets, whilst attending Wade Deacon High School.

Jarrod O’Connor is a hardworking and tough loose forward, with a strong work ethic to match his ability. After being exposed to a number of positions during his time in the Academy to stretch his capabilities as a rugby player, Jarrod has made the loose forward position his own throughout this year. Jarrod played his community rugby at Halton Farnworth Hornets and attended Wade Deacon High School. 

Jayden Hatton is a strong centre, who has an ability to find the try-line with his excellent running game. Jayden has been with the Vikings since the age of 10, and has matured into an athletic finisher during his time in the Academy. Jayden played his community rugby at Halton Farnworth Hornets and attended Wade Deacon High School. 

Sam Walters is a strong-running back rower, with an equally high work rate to compliment his rugby abilities. The forward has impressed hugely since making the step up to the U19s, and made an appearance for the Vikings first team in the Festive Derby against Warrington Wolves. Sam played his community rugby at Halton Farnworth Hornets and studied at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic College. 

Phil Finney, Head of Youth at Widnes Vikings, says: “It is credit to the work ethic of the boys that they have been selected in the Lancashire squad.

“All four players have been with the Vikings since their involvement in the Club’s Development Squad, and much credit must be attributed to the parents and coaches that have positively contributed to the development of the boys. 

“It is a great opportunity for the lads to challenge themselves at a higher level and experience the demands of representative rugby.”


The coaching team for the Lancashire side are England Men’s Elite Squad assistant coach Paul Wellens, two-times Steve Prescott Man of Steel winner, Paul Sculthorpe and former Rochdale Hornets coach Ian Talbot. The Yorkshire team will be coached by England Knights head coach, Paul Anderson and former England and Huddersfield scrum-half Luke Robinson. 

The second Origin game will take place on Sunday, September 2) at Victoria Park, Warrington, before the Yorkshire Division take on the Australian Schoolboys at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle (Wednesday, November 28) and Lancashire also come head-to-head with the visitors at the Manchester Regional Arena (Saturday, December 1).

Lancashire team in full:

Aiden Roden (Wigan Warriors)

Ben Davies (Widnes Vikings)

Callum Green (Wigan Warriors)

Eribe Doro (Warrington Wolves)

Ethan Harvard (Wigan Warriors)

Harry Smith (Wigan Warriors)

Jack Welsby (St Helens)

Jake Wingfield (St Helens)

James McDonnell (Wigan Warriors)

Jarrod O’Connor (Widnes Vikings)

Jayden Hatton (Widnes Vikings)

Joe Shorrocks (Wigan Warriors)

John Hutchinson (St Helens)

Josh Simms (St Helens)

Matthew Foster (St Helens)

Nathan Wilde (Wigan Warriors)

Reece Hamlett (Wigan Warriors)

Sam Royle (St Helens)

Sam Walters (Widnes Vikings)

Tom Nisbet (St Helens)


Yorkshire Team in full: 

Adam Rookers (City of Hull Academy)

Cameron Scott (City of Hull Academy)

Corey Johnson (Leeds Rhinos)

Dom Young (Huddersfield Giants)

Elliott Wallis (City of Hull Academy)

Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos)

Innes Senior (Huddersfield Giants)

Jack Broadbent (Leeds Rhinos)

Jack Brown (City of Hull Academy)

Lewis Carr (Castleford Tigers)

Loui McConnell (Leeds Rhinos)

Louis Senior (Huddersfield Giants)

Mikey Lewis (City of Hull Academy)

Morgan Smithies (Wigan Warriors)

Oliver Wilson (Bradford Bulls)

Owen Trout (Leeds Rhinos)

Robbie Storey (Castleford Tigers)

Rowan Milnes (Bradford Bulls)

Tom Holroyd (Leeds Rhinos)

Tyler Dupree (Leeds Rhinos)


Academy ‘Origin’ Fixtures in full:

Yorkshire v Lancashire – July 28 (KO 2.30pm) Provident Stadium

Lancashire v Yorkshire – September 2, Victoria Park

Yorkshire v Australian Schoolboys – November 28, Mend-A-Hose Jungle

Lancashire v Australian Schoolboys – December 1, Manchester Regional Arena

Quartet Selected For Lancashire Academy widnesvikings.co.uk