Blake Austin: England include Australia-born Blake Austin in 2019 Elite Squad

Blake Austin
Blake Austin has been one of the stand-out players in Super League since leaving Canberra for Warrington

Warrington Wolves stand-off Blake Austin has been added to the England Elite Performance Squad for the remainder of the 2019 season.

Parramatta-born Austin, 28, has 19 tries in 24 games for the Wolves and is England-qualified by virtue of his parental grandmother.

The former Canberra, Penrith and Wests Tigers half played three games for Portugal earlier in his career.

He is the only new face in the England EPS set-up.

The EPS is designed to give Super League-based players opportunities to get together, train and build relationships.

Four players have dropped out of the group, including Kallum Watkins following his move to Gold Coast Titans in the National Rugby League.

Hull KR prop Robbie Mulhern and Wigan back-rower Joe Greenwood have moved into the Knights Performance Squad and Castleford lock Adam Milner also misses out.

"Blake Austin is a quality player, but just as important is his commitment to joining our England squad," Rugby Football League rugby director Kevin Sinfield said.

"Unlike a few other guys who would qualify to play for Great Britain later this year through their ancestry from other Home Nations, he would make himself unavailable to play any representative rugby in Australia as soon as he plays for England, because England are a Tier One nation.

"That is a good indication of his commitment to joining our group, and we believe he will be a very positive addition."

England EPS: Luke Gale, Jake Trueman, Liam Watts (Castleford Tigers), Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Jake Connor, Jamie Shaul, Scott Taylor (Hull FC), Stevie Ward (Leeds Rhinos), Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Alex Walmsley (St Helens), Tom Johnstone, Reece Lyne, Blake Austin, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Ben Currie, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves), Oliver Gildart, Sean O'Loughlin, George Williams (Wigan Warriors)

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