Salford Red Devils’ Kallum Watkins, Marc Sneyd and Andy Ackers have all received England call-ups for the 2022 World Cup.
After reaching the play-off semi-final last season, three consistently excellent performers have been recognised for their stellar campaigns.
Sneyd broke a Salford record for the most points scored in a Betfred Super League season with 228, beating the record previously set by Krisnan Inu (215) in 2019. His trusty left boot was on fire for the Red Devils all season and his maiden call-up is a true reflection of his immense quality at scrum half.
Ackers is quite clearly the Super League’s in-form hooker and capped off a masterful performance against Huddersfield in the play-off eliminator with a try that shows what our number nine is all about – making things happen. Ackers is also receiving his first call-up and will no doubt be a crucial part of the Three Lions set-up.
Watkins has already represented England 26 times, scoring 12 tries. Moving into the back row last season, the 31-year-old has been a consistent performer for Salford and he’ll want to take his flying form into the World Cup.
Starting with our number seven, Sneyd said: “It’s a dream come true to represent England at the World Cup. I never thought this day would ever come, but I’m excited to get going!”
Ackers – also reacting to his call-up – said: “I’m over the moon to be apart of this squad. When Shaun rang me I think I cried for a day or two – that’s how hard I’ve worked for this opportunity and I’m grateful for it.
“My coaches and team mates have been great for me this year and we have been pretty successful. Hopefully, I can bring something to this squad that will help us win the World Cup, I can’t wait to get into camp and work harder than ever.”
Watkins also said: “I’m honoured and truly grateful to be called up for the England squad for the World Cup.”
Speaking about Salford’s inclusions, Head Coach Paul Rowley said: “The whole club are very proud of our boys representing England in the World Cup. Each players inclusion is equally outstanding, all for different reasons.
“Kal (Watkins) is a story of the ultimate pro who’s battled adversity with determination and courage to storm back into world class form and will be playing exactly on the stage he was always destined for.”
“To see Andy (Ackers) progress from already an excellent and talented competitor into an international athlete – by working so hard on his detail and himself as a leader – is an absolute credit to him and I can’t wait to see him wear that England jersey with pride.”
Finishing by talking about Sneyd, Rowley said: “To me, this selection is testament to Marc’s character as a human being as much as his undoubted ability as a player.
“As a senior player joining our club, new players, new systems and new staff he’s been the ultimate pro – adaptable, humble, honest and hard working, with a contagious will to win. Marc is a decorated quality rugby league player and I know to play for his country will be the pinnacle of his career – absolutely fully deserved.”
Rowley concluded: “The staff, the players and myself want to wish all our boys who are representing their respective nations in the World Cup the best of luck and we are all proud and privileged to be your friends and team mates. Good Luck, Rowls.”
Ian Blease added: “I’m absolutely delighted and proud that these three incredible lads have been selected for England at the World Cup.
“They join a prestigious list of Salford Red Devils stars that have represented England over the years and have got what they’ve deserved after a stellar season.
“To have three Salford players selected for England is a huge achievement for the club and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all playing and non-playing staff behind the scenes.
“I want to wish our Three Lions and the rest of our World Cup representatives the best of luck for the tournament.”