The selection of three Castleford Tigers players in the England mid-season training squad this week is a tribute to how well the side has been playing week in, week out, says head coach Daryl Powell.
For centre Michael Shenton it is a recall to the international scene, but hooker Daryl Clark and the Tigers’ longest serving player, Craig Huby, have earned their first senior call-ups after consistently good displays this season.
Tigers boss Daryl Powell congratulated the trio on their selection and said they all deserved their recognition, but it also reflected well on the team.
He said: ”It’s great news for the club that players have been recognised for playing rugby league of the highest quality.
“All three players have been excellent this season. Michael Shenton and Daryl Clark have been special all year and Craig Huby in the middle of that excellent pack we’ve got has been superb.
“It’s pleasing for all three that they have been recognised in this way and it’s also pleasing for the squad. All the players support players who get selected in representative teams and I’m delighted for the group as a whole.”
Shenton, who last played for England in 2011, said: “It’s great to get the recognition for the full team and what we’ve been doing.
“It’s fantastic for the club that we’ve got three players named in the training squad, which is the first time in a long time that we’ve had something like that happen. I think that it’s a good indication of how well the boys are playing.”
“On a personal level, I’m delighted to be back involved and in contention for the end of the year.”
Huby said he was surprised to hear of his first call-up.
He said: “I was quite shocked when I got the phone call. I wasn’t too sure whether it was real or not at first, but I’m over the moon.
“I haven’t been thinking about getting a call-up to the squad as I have been concentrating on trying to play well every week. It is quite nice that it has come and hopefully I can keep up my good form.
“It’s really good that all three of us have been called up the training squad and it’s a reflection of how well we have done as a team this year. We will keep working hard and hopefully we can go even further.”
Clark, who was selected by the England Knights in 2012, is delighted to be joining his team-mates in the England training squad.
He said: “It makes it a lot better to have players that I have been playing with all year there with me. Shenny already has experience of it so it will be good to have people to go into camp with.
“It speaks for itself having three Castleford Tigers players in there. It proves that we are doing something right.
“The forward pack have helped me a lot. Andy Lynch and ‘Chubbs’ have been playing really well this year and it makes it a lot easier having good forwards around you.
“It was a bit surprising to get called up, but I’m excited to be a part of it. Everyone plays so that they can reach the highest level so I am excited to go to camp and mix it with the best players around.”