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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Egremont duo to represent Cumbria in memorial match

EGREMONT Rangers youngsters Rhys Davies and John Paul Brocklebank face potentially the biggest tests of their fledgling careers after being named in the Cumbria squad to face England at the Recre next month.

The pair, both with Egremont since they were under-nines, will fly the flag for the amateur club where the late Garry Purdham started and ended his career. And the match is set to be a major fundraiser for his young family.

Dave Bowden, organising committee spokesman, said: “We felt that all three clubs Garry played for in his career should be represented in the Cumbria squad.

“We felt he would have approved. These two lads will be part of the squad on the day, and it will be a wonderful experience for them.”

Full-back Davies toured Ukraine with Great Britain BARLA Under-23s and Brocklebank, a stand-off/loose-forward, featured in a BARLA Under-18 tour of Australia and an Under-21 trip to Russia.

“Both would be proud to be associated with Cumbria professionals and consider it an honour to be in the squad,” said Rangers chairman John Brocklebank.

“It would be a chance of a lifetime to play against England, and with it being for Garry makes it very special.”

The pair will join seven pros from Whitehaven and five from Workington Town in the county line-up.

The squad, which is subject to change, also includes Garry’s brother Rob Purdham, the ex-Haven ace who will skipper the team, Huddersfield’s Gregg McNally and Kyle Amor of Leeds Rhinos.

Cumbria will be coached by Paul Crarey, assisted by Gary Charlton, of Town, and Haven’s David Seeds, both pals and ex team-mates of Garry Purdham. The game takes place on October 3.

“Garry was a great friend of mine and this game is quite fitting, even though he wouldn’t have wanted the fuss,” Seeds said.

“It’s the strongest Cumbria team I’ve seen for a long time. It has been picked on merit and there is quality in there.

“I’m getting quite excited about what we are doing, not just for Garry’s family – the reason it’s being played – but for the whole of Cumbria. I can’t remember the last time a full England team came to West Cumbria.”

Cumbria: Calvert, McAvoy, M Jackson, Hill, S Miller, Mattinson, Sice (all Haven); Frazer, Mossop, Low, Coward, Pedley (all Town); Broadbent, Harrison, Campbell, McDermott (all Barrow); Davies, Brocklebank (both Egremont); R Purdham, Wilkes (both Harlequins); Amor (Leeds); McNally (Huddersfield); Clarke (Warrington); Gardner ( St Helens).

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