Honour for Barrow as he guides youngsters

Former Bradford Bulls player performance manager Stuart Barrow is the new head coach of the England Youth team.

He has been involved with the England Academy coaching set-up since 2010 and will take over the youth squad from Dave Elliott, who will continue to oversee the development of both the England Academy and Youth programmes as National Development Coach.

Barrow, who previously worked as player performance manager at Castleford Tigers (2005-09) before a three-year spell at Odsal, will be in charge for the two-Test series against France this Easter.

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“It’s a great honour for me to get the opportunity to coach some of the finest young talent in the game,” he said, with the first game at Provident Stadium, Odsal, on Good Friday (2.30pm).

“To be involved at this level in developing the next generation of Super League and England stars is a very exciting prospect.

“I’ve had the privilege of being involved in the England set-up working with Dave Elliott for the past few years and we’ve seen some fantastic talents come through the ranks in that time.

“I’m very proud to know that Dave and the rest of the England set-up have confidence in my abilities to take over the Youth role and I’m looking forward to putting my ideas into practice.”

The second Test is at Wakefield’s Provident Stadium on Easter Tuesday (2.30pm).

Barrow added: “We’ve a big challenge ahead of us against France next week and also a game scheduled against Wales in Wrexham on Saturday, April 6 so it’s going to be a massive week for every player involved in this group.

“At this age-level we have seen that France are always very physical and they will be a big test for our players.

“A lot of our guys will be making their first appearance in an England shirt and that brings its own pressures, so we’ll be keen to see how they respond.

“For some it will also be the first time they’ve ever experienced not being selected for a team and it’s important for us to see how they react to that situation as well.

“So, there will be a lot of challenges, both physically and mentally, for the group to face over the next few weeks.”