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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Millom and Barrow Island duos get GB Lions call

MILLOM hooker Marcus O’Brien will lead the English Lions Under-18s into unfamiliar territory on a tour of Lebanon this summer.

GREAT BRITAIN HONOURS: Millom’s Marcus O’Brien (above) and Barrow Island’s Perry Singleton (right) are included in the GB Lions under-18s squad, along with Millom’s Ethan Kelly and Island’s Ben Garner

The teenager – who last year was part of the Community Lions squad to tour South Africa – is one of four South Cumbrians from the amateur game who will play two matches in the Middle East.

Fellow Woollyback Ethan Kelly and Barrow Island duo Ben Garner and Perry Singleton will also make the trip, which starts on July 24.

Singleton – who toured the Netherlands with the national team last year and played in matches against Australia, Wales and France on home shores in the winter, is looking forward to the trip after initial nerves regarding the venue.

“When I first found out where we were going, it was a real question about what it is going to be like,” said the 18-year-old.

“But they have told us all about it and it is a nice place and I am quite excited to go and see the rugby out there and what level they are at.

“I’m not one to cope with the heat, but I’m excited about it. They are going to be quite physical and it’s going to be tough for us.”

The squad will be based in Lebanese capital Beirut and will play Liban Espoir – an under-20s side – on Saturday, July 28 and Wednesday, August 1 before returning home on Thursday, August 2.

Two training sessions will be held in the slightly cooler climate of Milford before the start of the tour.

English Lions Under-18s head coach Kelvin Lockett said: “Things are looking good for the tour, there’s lots of great development work going on in Lebanon and this is a chance for their under-20s to test their arm against English opposition.

“The whole squad have been briefed on the tour and they are very aware and well prepared. Beirut is a very multi-cultural city and it should be a fantastic tour.”

Liban Espoir head coach Robin Hachache said: “I am very happy to be coaching such a young and talented side. The boys are very enthusiastic and looking forward to testing themselves against the English Lions Under-18s.”

ENGLISH LIONS U18S SQUAD

Sam Forester (Maryport), Leon Tatlock (Thatto Heath), Ben Garner (Barrow Island), Scott Pink (Wath Brow), Tom Whittle (Wigan St Judes), Matty Cooke (Pilkington Recs), Marcus O’Brien (captain, Millom), Chris Tomlinson (Glasson Rangers), Leon Crellin (Egremont Rangers), Perry Singleton (Barrow Island), Daniel Rowell (Kells), Karl Dixon (Wath Brow), Ian Curnow (Wath Brow), Ethan Kelly (Millom), Jamie Tracie (Thatto Heath), Adam Jefferson (Bradford Dudley Hill), Jack Jones (Thatto Heath), Jack Green (Latchford Albion), Tyler Craig (Heworth), Lewis Sheridan (Wigan St Cuthberts).

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