The lads have done really well – Shaun Wane pleased with new-look England

England coach Shaun Wane declared himself satisfied with the result after his new-look team gained a 30-10 win over France in his first Test match.

Sunday, 24th October 2021, 11:27 am
Updated Sunday, 24th October 2021, 11:28 am
Saints fans flying the flag for England in France. Picture: SWPix

New captain John Bateman was among the tries in Perpignan as Wane’s men raced into a 20-0 lead after 17 minutes, but they encountered some stern French resistance in the final hour and Wane says he did not mind there was no runaway victory.

“I was sort of glad it wasn’t,” he said. “Credit to France, they had a dig and wouldn’t go away and they made it a proper Test match in the end.

“I thought the lads have done really well today considering everything they’ve been through. We had three sessions on the field as a team and had a tough day’s travel.

“In the first 20 we didn’t make an error or give a penalty away which was outstanding, but it’s hard to keep that going.

“In the second quarter, we had eight or nine errors and penalties which shows that, if we stay composed and our detail is good, we will be hard to beat. We’ve not been together that long, we will get better.

“If you had given me that score on the plane coming over this morning, I’d have been happy with that.”

Bateman and left winger Tom Makinson both scored two tries and others came from Tom Davies and Liam Farrell, with Jordan Abdull – one of eight new caps – kicking three goals.

“I thought Al Walmsley was good in his first spell and Jordan did what I asked of him,” Wane said. “There were some decent performances, but everyone can improve on what they did today.”

The game, arranged to help fill the gap created by the postponement of the World Cup, was a useful build-up to next year’s tournament and Wane says he would not mind another trip to France.

“I’d love to play them again over here if we can fit it into a very busy Super League calendar,” he said.

“I understand what the Super League club owners have to do, but at the end of the day we need to try to win a World Cup and that’s the most important thing, Everyone must get behind and help England prepare well. The more games the better.”

Wane paid tribute to Bateman, who stepped into the role of captain in the absence of an injured Sam Tomkins.

“John has been brilliant,” he said. “He spoke well in the hotel before we left and again before the game.

“If you think where he’s come from, that nervous kid at Bradford all those years ago, it’s testament to his family. He did some really good things.”

Bateman said: “I didn’t really try and celebrate much this week, I just want to get to the game.

“I still can’t believe it but I will celebrate tonight and have a couple of beers with the lads and my family.

“I told my family to keep it on the back burner, I didn’t really want to talk about it, but it’s a great honour to lead your country, there’s no greater honour.”