England coach Paul James wants the nation’s best homegrown players to prove their worth on Sunday when they face Wales in a friendly at the NIA.

The Cup final curtain raiser (12.30) will reunite James with several of the players guided in a series of exhibition ties last summer.

Also included are the likes of Cheshire guard Stephen Gayle, Worthing’s Shaun Durant and Essex forward Sam Toluwase, who joins club-mate Taner Adu in a largely youthful squad.

“I’m really looking forward to working with some of the most talented English BBL players,” said James.

“It’s a mixture of players who already have a lot of international experience and some with little or none.”

“I think these English players have performed very well for their club teams so far this season, so this is mainly a recognition of that fact.”

“It’s great for them to get this exposure and reward for how well they have been performing for their club teams.”

With uncertainty remaining over the future of the England programme as talks continue on whether to merge the home nations, James is urging his recruits to showcase themselves against a Welsh select which should be mere cannon fodder.

“The games we played over last summer proved to me that we have the talent and athletes to compete on a very high level, but what I also learnt was that we lacked the ability to play at such a high level for longer periods of time,” the Worcester playcaller said.

“The more games we can play at this type of level the better we will become at coping with the constant pressure and intensity we had to deal with over the summer of 2010.”

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