When England head coach Shaun Wane named his first training squad for 2022, there were a few eyebrows raised when one star wasn’t included.
That star is Jake Connor who, despite missing two Super League games through suspension this season, came back with a bang to register six assists and a try in Hull FC’s victory over Salford Red Devils at the weekend.
England Head Coach Shaun Wane says: “It’s a massive year for us, a great opportunity that we must be well prepared for.
“We’ve looked at a number of things in putting this training squad together – form last year, performances in the All Stars and France games, pre-season training and discussions around up and coming young players.
“The players included for this first session need to look like England players and train like England players. We want something extra from them at this level.
“The younger players coming through are a real credit to Paul Anderson and Paul Sculthorpe on the performance pathway, club coaches and junior coaches too. To me it doesn’t matter whether you’re 17 or 37, if I think you can help us win a World Cup you’ll be in the squad.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of players and the ones not included at this stage know that they can still force their way in. It’s an open book and I see some of them coming back in later in the year.”
Shaun Wane’s England Training Squad in full:
John Bateman (Wigan Warriors)
Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves)
Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves)
Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves)
Thomas Davies (Catalans Dragons)
Lewis Dodd (St Helens)
Niall Evalds (Castleford Tigers)
Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors)
Ryan Hall (Hull KR)
Zak Hardaker (Wigan Warriors)
Morgan Knowles (St Helens)
Kruise Leeming (Leeds Rhinos)
Matthew Lees (St Helens)
Jonny Lomax (St Helens)
Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity)
Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants)
Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers)
Tommy Makinson (St Helens)
Liam Marshall (Wigan Warriors)
Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos)
Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos)
Kai Pearce-Paul (Wigan Warriors)
Mark Percival (St Helens)
Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves)
Dan Sarginson (Salford Red Devils)
Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons)
Alex Walmsley (St Helens)
Jake Wardle (Huddersfield Giants)
Jack Welsby (St Helens)
George Williams (Warrington Wolves)