Salford Red Devils’ Niall Evalds has been selected as part of the England Knights Performance Squad following a terrific start to the 2018 Betfred Super League season.
Evalds has scored four tries in as many Betfred Super League games so far in 2018 and has been one of the standout performers for Salford Red Devils in the early stages of the season.
Niall Evalds (sponsored by The Dog and Partridge, Eccles) said: “It was a big surprise when I got the call last night – I didn’t expect it at all.
“When I told the misses and my family they were all real proud so it was a really good moment for me.
“I thought I had a good backend of last year. I didn’t play much at the start of the year but I worked my way back into the team and I’ve carried that over into this season.
“It’s one step at a time but that’s ultimately everybody’s goal to play for their country as much as this is a good step I still want to take that next one and time will tell.
“All I’m concentrating on is my form for Salford wherever I play whether that be wing or full-back.”
Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson said: “We are all really pleased for Niall which was met with a great response from the players when announced. This is a great accolade for both Niall and the Club.
“It’s great that Salford have managed to help develop a player from the academy through to an England Knights squad and hopefully this is the start for Niall and he will go on to make future international appearances.
“The commitment Niall has shown when in and out of the team has been testament to his character and the character that we embrace as a team here at Salford.
“His form has been shown this season with four tries in four games showing what a proven finisher he his and his utility value in being able to play in any of the outside back positions will prove to be an asset to his international career.”
Salford Red Devils Director of Rugby and Operations Ian Blease said: “We’re all truly delighted for Niall. He’s been playing brilliantly this season so far and has really earned his spot in the England Knights Performance squad.
“We secured Niall on a long-term deal last season and this has proved to be a fantastic move by the Club, I’ve always said that Niall is a very gifted player with a lot of natural ability and has that rare ability to score try’s from nowhere and from nothing.
“His support play also comes naturally and he has now got this selection for all his hard work and determination.”
The full squad is as follows:
Greg Minikin (Castleford Tigers), Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers), Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield Giants), Josh Bowden (Hull FC), Jake Connor (Hull FC), Dean Hadley (Hull FC), Masimbaashe Matongo (Hull FC), Jamie Shaul (Hull FC), Chris Atkin (Hull KR), Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos), Jack Walker (Leeds Rhinos), James Cunningham (London Broncos), Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors), Tom Davies (Wigan Warriors), Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors), Sam Powell (Wigan Warriors), Ryan Sutton (Wigan Warriors), Niall Evalds (Salford Red Devils), Danny Richardson (St Helens), Luke Thompson (St Helens), Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity), Jack Hughes (Warrington Wolves), Tom Gilmore (Widnes Vikings), Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings), Matt Whitley (Widnes Vikings).