Squads named for England v All Stars game
England head coach Shaun Wane has confirmed his 19-player squad for this Friday’s (25 June) mid-season fixture against the Combined Nations All Stars at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The squad includes six uncapped players: Tom Davies; Ash Handley; Morgan Knowles; Paul McShane; Mikolaj Oledzki and Joe Philbin, although Knowles has previously played for Wales, while Philbin has represented Ireland.
Including Philbin, there are five Warrington players in the squad, with Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie and Stefan Ratchford also selected.
Former Canberra Raiders halfback George Williams is not considered match fit, having last played for the Raiders more than four weeks ago.
Head coach Tim Sheens has today released his19-man Combined Nations All Stars squad.
Sheens, a World Cup winner with the 2013 Kangaroos, has confirmed that Leeds Rhinos prop Matt Prior will be co-captain alongside Jackson Hastings of Wigan Warriors.
Notable selections for the All Stars include Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Connor and Kruise Leeming, who will all be aiming to impress England coach Shaun Wane ahead of Rugby League World Cup 2021.
Sheens, said: “When this concept was created the aim was to give England a highly intense match as part of their preparations ahead of the Rugby League World Cup 2021.
“I’m confident we’ve assembled a squad that can do that. As it was always the case that Shaun would get first pick for England, we obviously had to wait and work within the guidelines when selecting players.
“I’m really looking forward to working with them – and I hope we’re all going to enjoy the experience, getting to know some new people and try out some new combinations.
“Also, the match is being played to help raise funds for the Mose Masoe Foundation and the players will take great pride in wearing the Mose-inspired jersey, which will no doubt will add to their motivation to perform well.”
Wane welcomed the selection of England players Jake Connor and Jermaine McGillvary in the Combined Nations All Stars squad.
Wane, who put his England squad through their paces at Salford on Tuesday, says he liaised with Sheens over the make-up of the All Stars line-up.
“He asked me if it was OK for them to play against us and I said it was fine,” Wane said touchside at the end of the training session at the AJ Bell Stadium.
“It gives me another chance to watch them. Jermaine is a class player and it gives me another chance in a tough game to see how he goes.”
Meanwhile, Wane has praised the commitment ofSam Tomkins, who took on a solo car journey from the south of France rather than catch a flight which would have meant having to go into quarantine.
Tomkins’ team-mate Tom Davies, who is set to win his first cap on Friday, also drove to England but had the company of his girlfriend.
“They took their time and had rests when they needed to,” Wane said. “It’s a great effort.
“You look at what Sam has done in his career and to jump in his car and drive here to play for England shows how much it means to him.”
Wane has confirmed that Warrington second rower Ben Currie will play in the threequarters against the All Stars after injury ruled out a host of specialist centres, including Mark Percival, Josh Griffin and Jake Wardle, who was in his 24-man squad.
“Jake would have played but he’s got a sore ankle, which is a shame because I rate him,” Wane said.
England squad: John Bateman (Wigan Warriors); Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie (all Warrington Wolves); Tom Davies (Catalans Dragons); Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors); Luke Gale, Ash Handley (both Leeds Rhinos); Morgan Knowles (St Helens); Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity); Jonny Lomax (St Helens); Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers); Tommy Makinson (St Helens); Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos); Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford (both Warrington Wolves); Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons); Alex Walmsley (St Helens); Joe Westerman (Wakefield Trinity).
All Stars Squad:Jake Connor (Hull FC), Kenny Edwards (Huddersfield Giants), Jackson Hastings (Wigan Warriors), Liam Kay (Wakefield Trinity), Kruise Leeming (Leeds Rhinos), Ricky Leutele (Huddersfield Giants), Peter Mata'utia (Castleford Tigers), Suaia Matagi (Castleford Tigers), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Junior Moors (Featherstone Rovers), Pauli Pauli (Salford Red Devils), Nathan Peats (Leigh Centurions), Matt Prior (Leeds Rhinos), Chris Satae (Hull FC), Andre Savelio (Hull FC), Aidan Sezer (Huddersfield Giants), Ken Sio (Salford Red Devils), Kelepi Tanginoa (Wakefield Trinity), Luke Yates (Huddersfield Giants)