Shaun Wane’s England squad is star-studded but this week they had a visitor in the shape of another sporting star: former England football start Stuart Pearce.
Pearce visited the camp and gave a motivational speech to the squad and afterwards spoke on the official twitter page about how the meeting game about: “I’ve seen Shaun in my travels when I’ve been at rugby league games and we’ve kept in touch.
“He invited me down to watch training and I said look if you want me to say a few boys as well, I’m quite happy to do so.
“For me it was a win-win. It’s an honour and a privilege to be here.
“I was at the game on Saturday, the momentum behind them is building. This takes me back to Euros 1996.
“I was at Wembley in 2013 when we got beaten in the semis, it was gut wrenching.”
He believes there’s a momentum growing behind the team and wants to see the sport grow on the back of this: “There’s a moment growing. It will be great for British rugby league, I’m forever trying to bang the drum down south and get people into the stadiums and watch a game and get hooked on it 15 years ago.”
For Wigan Warriors man Mike Cooper is was a special experience. He said: “It’s been really special. The more people we have like him the better.
“He’s passionate about rugby league and self improvement.”
Likewise, St Helens star Tommy Makinson is hoping to take the lessons from Pearce and use them to “produce something great.”
He said: “He’s a huge rugby league fan, we can take what he’s learnt from playing for his country and being in teams that we winning things. Hopefully we can take why he was one of the best and take that and produce something great.”
🏴 Former England footballer Stuart Pearce was invited down to #EnglandRL training yesterday to speak to the squad!
— England Rugby League (@England_RL) October 27, 2022