Yesterday at the Rugby League World Cup launch, Shaun Wane revealed some early team news for England’s opening game against Samoa this weekend at St James’ Park.
Wane revealed that he knows his best 17 more or less except for a few things he still needs to sort out: “We have a couple of slight niggles, but I nearly know who my best 17 is but just a couple of things I need to sort out when I get back to the hotel.”
One of those things will be what to do with the backrow. Wane is without the suspended John Bateman whilst Mike McMeeken is no a doubt: “There was a knock with Mike McMeeken, but he’s the main one.”
There is of course a decision to make on the wing with three class wingers all pushing for a place in the side.
On this Wane is yet to have a conversation with the three but doesn’t imagine it will be an awkward conversation: “I need to have a chat with them all, I’ve got three great wingers and the two who I believe are the best will play.
“People say is it awkward, but it’s not. You tell them the truth between the eyes and they can’t come unstuck.”
When asked if the St Helens Grand Final stars who missed the warm-up against Fiji would play alongside Leeds Rhinos’ own Grand Finalist in Mikolaj Oledzki, Wane confirmed that yes they would be in contention: “Yeah. We have to win on Saturday. Big game it’s exciting.”