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England star responds to Tonga complaints

Elliot Whitehead has hit back at the comments of Tonga’s captain and coach Kristian Woolf following England’s win over Tonga in the first Test Match at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium as he looks ahead to game two at Huddersfield Giants’ John Smith’s Stadium.

The former Bradford Bulls second-row is back towards home and will remain in that neck of the woods ahead of the third test at the home of Leeds Rhinos: AMT Headingley Stadium. The test today will determine whether or not that game is a decider or just a dead rubber.

However, it is hard to believe the game will become completely meaningless especially given the rivalry that seems to be emerging between the two in terms of what has been said between the two sides.

Now Whitehead has responded to complaints from Tonga over the pitch and ruck speed. He said to the Sportsman: “Especially on that pitch, we were a little bit slower than what we probably wanted on the weekend. I thought we dealt with them really well.

“I thought our ruck control for the majority of the game, we had good ruck control and I thought that got us the win in the end.”

“I think having a little bit of a dry track this week might be a little bit more of an advantage to us but you know it’s still going to be a tough game. The Tongan outfit have got some of the best players in the NRL playing for them there.

“We’re going to have to be on our game again this week and I’m sure we’ll prepare well like we did last week and go down to Huddersfield and hopefully get the win.”

Whitehead’s retirement is looming and is reportedly set to come in 2024. This led to Whitehead saying he has likely played in his last World Cup match already:

“I think coming to that World Cup my days will be over playing international and probably at club level as well but you know the young kids out here they’ve stepped up and showed definitely showed last week that they are capable of taking England forward.

“Hopefully they can do that by winning that World Cup but like you say we’ve got a big test in front of us first we want to win this series and we’ve got two games coming up so we want to do a 3-0 and that starts again this week down in Huddersfield.”

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