Shaun Wane has announced his England squad for the second game of the World Cup which sees his side come up against France, but what 17 is the former Wigan boss likely to pick?
That’s the question we’re trying to answer with our prediction:
Fullback: Jack Welsby
This is a big call but with just one fullback in the squad other than stand-off Welsby, so if Sam Tomkins was to get injured later in the tournament, England need to know they can trust Welsby at the back as they did against Fiji. This would keep the skipper rested and get Marc Sneyd into the side.
Wingers: Dom Young & Ryan Hall
This has been basically confirmed by today’s squad with no Tommy Makinson included. This is Ryan Hall’s chance to force his way into the side ahead of the St Helens flyer or right winger Young.
Centres: Kallum Watkins & Herbue Farnworth
Both centres were outstanding against Samoa and they will likely form the backbone of this performance as well. That said, there may be a temptation to play Kai Pearce-Paul there as Shaun Wane looks to get minutes into all his players.
Halfbacks: George Williams & Marc Sneyd
As against Fiji, this will be a chance to see these two start in the halves. Quite a complimentary pairing between a runner in Williams and a kicker in Sneyd, it could be very effective.
Props: Luke Thompson & Mikolaj Oledzki
Prop is the position on the field you need the most energy so by giving starting duo from the Samoa game in Tom Burgess and Chris Hill a rest, England could help themselves later in the tournament and give their middles extra bite here.
Hooker: Michael McIlorum
McIlorum is England’s number nine and he showed why with an accomplished performance against Samoa. Starting again, he will maintain that stability.
Second-Rowers: Kai Pearce-Paul & John Bateman
After scoring twice against Samoa, Elliot Whitehead deserves a rest and as Shaun Wane looks to get all his players with minutes under their belts we could see an all Wigan backrow against France as Bateman returns from a ban looking to show he should be in England’s strongest 17.
Loose-Forward: Victor Radley
Shaun Wane won’t want to take the beating heart of the last performance out of the side, especially with Morgan Knowles not included in the squad, thus Radley is almost guaranteed to play at 13.
Substitutes: Andy Ackers, Joe Batchelor, Tom Burgess and Chris Hill
As aforementioned, Wane may literally shuffle his pack and give Chris Hill and Tom Burgess a different job and enable them to get more energy into their legs. They will be joined by St Helens backrow and Salford hooker Andy Ackers who missed last week’s game.