England to take on All Stars team as part of RL World Cup preparations
England will face an All Stars select team as part of their preparations for the end-of-year World Cup.
A return of the Exiles, a team comprising the cream of overseas players based in Super League, has long been touted to return in 2021 to provide opposition for England in the mid-season international window.
The fixture, which will be Shaun Wane’s first as England coach, will be confirmed today (Tuesday), but the PA news agency understands the Exiles will have a new name, the Combined Nations All Stars, to reflect an expanded selection criteria.
It will be a throwback to the Other Nationalities team which first played as long ago as 1903 and appeared regularly on the representative scene until 1975.
The team boasted some of Wales’ finest players like Billy Boston and Lewis Jones, as well as Scots such as Dave Valentine and Australians like Brian Bevan and Harry Bath.
A modern Other Nationalities team could include non-England Super League players like Regan Grace (Wales), Matty Russell (Scotland), Ronan Michael (Ireland), Morgan Escare (France) and Ashton Golding (Jamaica), provided their own countries are not in action.
The name change should resonate with overseas players who have witnessed the successful introduction of the All Stars concept by the NRL in recent years.
The game is set to take place at Headingley on Friday June 25, with England’s women and wheelchair teams also to play fixtures over the same weekend.
The fixtures will clash with a full round of Super League fixtures which could create selection issues.
Clubs are bound by the regulations to release players for England duty, but they do not apply to the All Stars because it is not an international team.