England are sending an eight-strong team to the European Championships, which begin in Luxembourg next Wednesday.

Rio Olympian Sam Walker spearheads the men’s team, alongside David McBeath, who was also a regular in the qualifying campaign. They are joined by young stars Tom Jarvis and Helshan Weerasinghe.

The women’s team comprises Kelly Sibley, Tin-Tin Ho, Karina Le Fevre and Maria Tsaptsinos.

Both the men and women’s squads qualified for the second-tier Challenge Division and promotion to the top flight cannot be earned at the event.

Table Tennis England Head of Talent & Performance, Simon Mills, said:

Because we cannot earn promotion, we have taken the decision to rest Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford and to blood Tom and Helshan, both with an eye on their personal development and on England’s future.

For the women, it is a chance to start the building process for a busy period including the Team World Cup in February, the Commonwealth Games in April and the World Team Championships just after that.

The men’s team have been drawn in Group E of the Challenge Division, where they face Denmark, Netherlands and Ireland. England beat Netherlands both home and away in the qualifying group.

The women are also at the second level, where they will play in Group H against Slovenia, Greece and Israel. Slovenia are familiar opponents as England twice beat them 3-2 in qualifying.

The tournament will be refereed by England’s Stuart Sherlock.