Shaun Wane’s preparations for the next World Cup started today as he named a young England side who defeated France 64-0.
After the game, Wane was delighted with the performance:
“They played how we practiced. I thought they were outstanding, as an Englishman to have 13 debuts, 20 year olds, it is a testament to Super League coaches, CEOs, Heads of Youth who have given these players a chance and today they rewarded them for it.”
That said, his focus is clearly on Tonga at the end of the year and thus that actually formed his side’s focus in today’s game:
“That made my talk before the game work because my talk before the game was about Tonga and what they will do and the stamp they will put on the game.
“That made my talk a lot easier so credit to the RFL for getting that on so it is something we can build towards and build on.
“It makes talking to players a lot easier.
“Hopefully we can get something solid for next year as well and people can plan for when the window will be and buy tickets and make sure our crowds are full.”
This is why he wasn’t happy with his side’s defence at halftime even though his side kept the French scoreless:
“I was quite harsh defensively at halftime. Andy Last has been good with our attack this week but I focused on defence because there were a few things that weren’t right with our defence at halftime believe it or not.
“I’m not trying to embarrass France with that but I am looking at what we would be like against Tonga or Samoa.
“France were underdone. They were young but a big athletic team and we can only play what we play against and it leaves us in a good position for a tough series.
“I saw improvements in the second half which is probably the most satisfying thing for me.”