Academy duo set for England Youth starts

Two of Newcastle Thunder’s bright young talents will start for England Youth this Saturday (KO 1pm) with Alex Donaghy and Isaac Noakes named in the line up for the game against Wales.

Donaghy, who made his first-team debut during pre-season this year, returns to the international set up having played for England Youth in 2017 while Noakes will make his debut in the clash at West Wales Raiders’ Stobenheath Park on Saturday lunchtime.

Developing with Thunder under the tutelage of academy head coach Michael Heap, their Thunder mentor says Saturday’s chance is something both players have earned.

He said: “Both of the lads have worked really, really hard and have a chance to show what they can do at this level and I am sure that they will take it.

“It will be Noakesy’s first involvement in the international representative stuff but he is a big strong athlete and his skill set is really coming along and so is his mentality and he is one to watch for sure.

“The more exposure players can get to different coaches and high level coaches the better and hopefully they will bring something back from being in the England camp and that the experience will inspire them to keep working hard and show them how good they are and how much potential that they have.”

Donaghy said: “It’s a great opportunity to play for England again. A lot of hard work has gone into this year and it’s a great feeling being rewarded like this.

“It’s been a good experience in camp so far with everyone and it’s been great testing myself against the Knights. I’m now just really looking forward to getting out there on Saturday and showing everyone I can do.”

Noakes said: “I’m really pleased to have been picked and it is an honour to represent my country. It’s also a credit to all the staff and family that have helped me get here.  I’m looking forward to the test and hopefully what’s to come.”

Thunder fans can watch Saturday’s match for free via the RFL’s OuRLeague app.

Launched in 2018, OURLEAGUE is a free to download app that can be found in the Apple App Store for iOS devices or  Google Play for Android users.

Offering an evolving programme of benefits, OuRLeague also carries a large number of live matches, a seamlessly linked ticketing and rewards scheme, along with in-stadia discounts as well as live broadcast integration with Sky Sports for Man of the Match voting via Our League platforms.

Fans that download the app and register as Newcastle Thunder supporters play a crucial role in the development of the club, with the app providing a key measure of engagement by the club and the RFL.