Two Cramlington Rockets players are heading to Italy as part of an England Lionhearts tour.
A squad of 20 will make the trip to Italy from June 14 to 21 to take on Italy’s U18s.
After the club successfully raised over £400 towards the travel costs, two of Cramlington Rockets’ U17s will be part of the touring party.
Matty Gordon and Jack Tait have been training with the Lionhearts since February and are looking forward to the chance to play at the next level.
“I am honoured to have been selected to represent my country,” said Matty, “and I am looking forward to playing alongside a talented squad of players.
“To have my clubmate, Jack in the side too makes it extra special and we are really grateful to our coaches, Jordan Robinson, Steve Beaty and Danny Gilroy for helping us get this far.”
Both players were presented with their England shirts by rugby league legend, Bill Ashurst and are the latest in a number of Rockets players to have represented their country at a junior level in recent years.
The efforts of the Rockets family to raise funds to help towards the travel costs was much appreciated by both the players and their families.
Matty’s father Darren said: “I would like to thank everyone for the help and support.”
“I am ecstatic for both the lads, they more than deserve the opportunity,” said coach Jordan Robinson.
“As well as being very talented players, they have excellent attitudes and will thrive from being in such a high profile environment.
“Having two lads in the squad is also a good endorsement of the work going on in the north east, which is certainly attracting more attention from those in the sports heartlands.
“It will be an amazing experience for them and we are very proud that they will be pulling on that England shirt.”