Fans vote for their English World Cup ‘Team of the Tournament’ as huge names miss out including former Man of Steel

With rugby league social media teams of late being busy with advent calendar style reveals including countdowns such as squad number releases and pre-season content the official England Rugby League Twitter page have asked fans to vote for their World Cup Team of the Tournament, comprising solely of England players.

Fans have been asked to vote for each position starting from full-back through to their loose forward with the ERL social team offering up a poll of four to five players to choose from.

Players range across the men’s, women’s and the wheelchair team who all put in stellar performances at the recent tournament.

Of course the men and women came short as they both fell at the semi-final stage but the wheelchair team can head into Christmas as World Champions, and have just this week been confirmed as the number one side in the world.

Despite the mixed results there were still stand-out performances and here is the English Team of the Tournament, as voted by the fans.

1: Full-back – Nathan Collins

Collins helped guide his side to victory so what else really needs to be said? The skilful and elusive Leeds Rhinos’ man beat out players such as Sam Tomkins and Fran Goldthorp as he impressed throughout particular with his kicking game.

2: Right Winger – Dom Young

Young was unlucky to miss out on the official team of the tournament but he makes this side and received a whopping 67% of the vote. The talented 21-year-old who towers at six foot seven inches had a breakout tournament and the NRL star will be in high demand when his contract expires at the season end. Scoring eight tries in the group stages Young deservedly takes his position in this team.

3: Right Centre – Tara Stanley

Stanley slots in at the number three slot having also been selected for the official team of the tournament beating out some impressive Kiwi and Aussie players as well. The York Valkyrie centre didn’t just perform well with the ball in hand but took the lead with the boot as she goal-kicked for the team during their trip to the semi-finals.

4: Left Centre – Herbie Farnworth

The Brisbane Broncos man debuted for England at this World Cup and he impressed immediately, particularly in the semi-final where he scored two tries against the runners-up Samoa. Unknown to some fans heading into the tournament due to his career very solely based in the NRL so far, he’s become a huge name and is reportedly being chased by five NRL clubs. With his contract set to run out at the end of the season and a reported desire to play full-back we could see him on English shores in the Super League potentially.

5: Left Winger – Tommy Makinson

St Helens star winger performed as one of England’s star scorers at this tournament as he was brilliant on the opposite flank to Young. In the quarter-final Makinson became the first ever Englishman to score five tries in a game for the national side as England routed Papua New Guinea 46-6. The five-time Grand Final champion can count himself unlucky not to have made the official team of the tournament but slots into this fan-voted team.

6: Stand-off – Jack Brown

Undoubtedly the star of the wheelchair tournament and potentially the World Cup as a whole, Halifax’s Jack Brown captured the attention as he showed incredible speed to score plenty of breakaway tries. Finishing the competition with a try in the final took his tally to 17 for the tournament across just five games, highlighting his merit in this team.

7: Scrum-half – George Williams

Despite a disappointing season with Warrington as the club failed to meet expectations, Williams had the faith of Shaun Wane and featured as playmaker for the men’s team. That faith was rewarded as he found himself named in the team of the tournament ahead of players such as NRL superstars Nathan Cleary and Anthony Milford. Moreover, Williams finds his spot in this team voted ahead the likes of wheelchair captain Tom Halliwell who scored a brace in the final leading his side to victory, highlighting the impression his performances left on fans.

8: Prop – Tom Burgess

The name Burgess has been associated with English rugby league across the whole of the past decade but it was Tom’s time to shine at this tournament as he led the England forward pack. Also voted into the official team of the tournament the 30-year-old notched two tries in the 94-4 hammering of Greece but it was his hard yards, tackling and leadership that sees him voted into this team.

9: Hooker – Tara Jones

Jones will be known to plenty of Super League fans for her role as a match official but the St Helens number nine played a key role in the semi-final run for the women’s team. Scoring a try in the first match against Brazil, Jones went from strength to strength and beat out plenty of competition in this fan vote including Micky McIlorum, Andy Ackers and playing partner Keara Bennett.

10: Prop – Chris Hill

The 35-year-old Hill beat out plenty of competition to cement his role in this fan-voted team and in the twilight of his career he showed that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level. Having transitioned to Huddersfield Giants for the 2022 season, Hill found himself in Wane’s team to the shock of many for what will likely be his last World Cup and he made the most of the opportunity hence his deserved place in this team.

11: Second-Rower – Emily Rudge

Rudge led the England women and she’ll lead this side with men’s captain, Sam Tomkins, and wheelchair captain, Tom Halliwell, failing to make the team. The teacher from Warrington, who plays for St Helens, received huge support in the women’s opening game against Brazil as children from her school were allocated tickets to see their teacher play and she impressed in that game, and throughout the tournament. Rudge beat out stiff competition including John Bateman who has just made the move back to the NRL and will link up with Wests Tigers for 2023.

12: Second-Rower – Elliot Whitehead

One of the most experienced players in this team with Whitehead having played over 160 games in both the Super League and the NRL, whilst also making over 20 appearances for England. His highlight of the tournament came in the first game when the 33-year-old former Bradford Bull scored a brace in the 60-6 victory over Samoa.

13: Loose Forward – Victor Radley

No real surprises here either as 24-year-old ‘Victor the inflictor’ takes his spot at 13 having also been one of the standout English talents in the NRL over the last few seasons for the Sydney Roosters. His performances earned him a spot in the official Team of the Tournament as decided by the World Cup organisers so his place in this squad is fully deserved. There were fears that Radley’s tournament would become remembered for what happened off the field with the reported incident between himself and Ireland forward James Bentley at the England team hotel following their semi-final defeat, but the RFL have officially ruled Radley innocent and found him to have not been the instigator of the alleged incident.

England Rugby League fan-voted Team of the Tournament

1: Nathan Collins

2: Dom Young

3: Tara Stanley

4: Herbie Farnworth

5: Tommy Makinson

6: Jack Brown

7: George Williams

8: Tom Burgess

9: Tara Jones

10: Chris Hill

11: Emily Rudge

12: Elliot Whitehead

13: Victor Radley

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