Opportunity for Milner to impress is welcomed

Teenage Castleford Tigers hooker Adam Milner has spent the last two days in camp with England Knights after a surprise call from international coach Steve McNamara.

The youngster, who led England Academy to success over Australia last season, joined up with some of the country’s most promising players during their current training stint at Loughborough University.

The newly-formed Knights, which supplements McNamara’s elite squad, also boasts some fully-capped internationals such as Ryan Atkins, Shaun Lunt and Darrell Goulding.

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“I wasn’t originally in the squad but got a call from Steve McNamara on Saturday morning,” Milner told the Yorkshire Post.

“It came out of the blue but he said it would be a good experience for me and another couple of the Under-18s, Warrington’s Gaz O’Brien and James Laithwaite, to join up with them and see how we get on with these boys.”

Milner, 19, worked with Huddersfield hooker Lunt and fellow international – St Helens’ Scott Moore – during the sessions, reward for his excellent efforts so far in Castleford colours.

Although the Tigers were torn apart 62-0 last Friday by Warrington, including scrum-half O’Brien on his Super League bow, they have been the surprise package of the campaign so far.

The combative Milner, who debuted late last year, has featured in the majority of their games and actually started seven matches.

“I’ve been loving every minute of it,” he said.

“I’ve got to keep improving but training with class players like Shaun Lunt and Scott Moore can only help.”

Meanwhile, Jarryd Hayne was left “confused” after he was the surprise omission from New South Wales’ squad for the opening State of Origin against Queensland next Wednesday.