Ex-St Helens boss Kristian Woolf has interesting say on England with his Tongan side on a collision course with Shaun Wane

Since the start of the World Cup, England have seemingly been on a collision course with Tonga.

Many expected them to meet in the quarter-finals with England being tipped to finish second in the group to Samoa, however England’s thumping of Samoa means we could get a rematch of the brilliant 2017 semi-final between the two this time at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in London.

That’s if Tonga defeat Samoa in the quarter-finals should things unfold in the way expected.

Last night after a big win for Tonga against Group D rivals Papua New Guinea, Kristian Woolf was asked about avoiding England in the quarter-finals.

However, the ex-St Helens boss noted that whoever they meet in the quarter-finals will be a tough opponent.

“Whoever you play in a quarter-final is going to be a tough game,” Woolf said, “England were really impressive the other night. People have spoken about Samoan not being where they could and should be, but you can’t take away from England and how well they played.”

He also spoke fondly of the players in the England side he knows well: “I know them players, and I know how good some of them are. I was expecting them to play really well.”

Noting the quality of both England and Samoa, Woolf said that whoever they play, Tonga will have to be better come quarter-final time: “Whoever we play in a quarter-final whether it’s England or Samoa, we’re going to have to improve.”

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