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7 players unlucky to miss out on Shaun Wane’s England Squad

England

Yesterday Shaun Wane named his England squad that will take on France on Saturday evening, naming a 20-man squad that featured six possible debutants and plenty of surprise names. Equally though, there were several players that had been anticipated to be named that weren’t.

Wane had clearly stated that the England side he would name would focus on youth with his selection likely being a nod to preparing players for the 2026 World Cup and the expected Ashes series against Australia next year.

Therefore it made sense for all the new call-ups to be aged 28 or younger with Hull KR captain Elliot Minchella the oldest of those six potential debutants. Warrington’s Ben Currie is the most senior player in the team, aged just 29 which highlights how young Wane has opted to go for.

Despite that, there are several young stars that haven’t been selected as well as some of Super League’s most in-form players. We’ve picked out seven men who could be deemed incredibly unlucky not to receive a call-up.

The listed seven players below aren’t the only ones who can count themselves unlucky with numerous players having had incredible seasons so far.

QUIZ: Can you name these 10 English Internationals?

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Which players are unlucky not be called up to Shaun Wane’s England squad?

Tom Davies – Catalans Dragons

Credit: Imago Images

Catalans Dragons have two English wingers who have been on-form despite poor service this season but it’s Tom Johnstone as opposed to Tom Davies who has made the England squad.

Ex-Wigan man Davies can potentially feel aggrieved that he’s not received a first call-up since 2021 given that he’s scored the same amount of tries in three fewer games whilst averaging an extra 15 metres per game. He’s also made just six errors compared to 21 by Johnstone.

Zach Eckersley – Wigan Warriors

Zach Eckersley Challenge Cup Final England

Credit: Imago Images

Eckersley maybe isn’t as unlucky as some other men on this list given that the Wigan man has only played a handful of games but he’s been incredibly impactful in them and he characterises what Shaun Wane said this squad is about – youth and developing for the future.

The 20-year-old centre can also play on the wing, something Wane referenced last week when he spoke to the media, and with the likes of Jake Wardle and Toby King also missing out, it’s a surprise not to see Eckersley called upon to at least get a taste of training camp.

Niall Evalds – Hull KR

Hull KR's Niall Evalds being interviewed after a Super League victory over Hull FC. Being Player of the Match, he has a medal on. England

Credit: Imago Images

Hull KR’s Niall Evalds has arguably been one of the signings of the season with the full-back lighting it up for the Robins so far in 2024. In 1r4 appearances, he has scored six but incredibly made 16 tries.

Where Evalds probably is let down is by his age, turning 31 in August would make him the oldest member of this squad by far but his form has certainly warranted a first call-up since 2021.

Liam Marshall – Wigan Warriors

Liam Marshall scores.

Credit: Imago Images

Liam Marshall has been one of Super League’s top wingers for a number of years. In 2024, he is arguably the top winger with the Wigan man scoring 16 in 13.

He’s also clocking up close to 150 metres a game and averaging over 9 metres per carry. At just 28, age doesn’t seem to be a factor for Marshall with the selected wingers Ash Handley and Tom Johnstone both being older than him which makes his omission curious.

Junior Nsemba – Wigan Warriors

Credit: Imago Images

One of the most surprising omissions is Junior Nsemba with the 19-year-old forward being the most exciting young talent in Super League for this writer’s opinion.

Capable of playing both prop and second-row, Nsemba is going to be a key player for the England pack for the next decade so calling him into camp would surely only be beneficial.

Marc Sneyd – Salford Red Devils

Credit: Imago Images

Despite there being obvious reasons why Marc Sneyd hasn’t been called up, namely age and the talent in the halves, it’s still hard to ignore how good he has been for Salford Red Devils so far this season.

Sneyd currently leads the Man of Steel race and has been integral to Salford’s success so far, guiding them to fifth-placed so far when they were a team expected to finish 11th by many fans and pundits. The form player of Super League is an incredibly unlucky absentee.

Danny Walker – Warrington Wolves

England

Credit: Imago Images

As well as lots of talent in the halves, England are stacked at hooker as well and that’s seen Danny Walker miss out in favour of potential debutant Brad O’Neill and Hull KR man Jez Litten.

Walker has taken a huge step forward for Warrington this year now that he is out of the shadow of Daryl Clark and the Wire man is potentially the future for England at nine. Both he and O’Neill are two of the best hookers in the comp aged 24 and 21. It’s set to be a difficult few years for Shaun Wane to choose between the two men.

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