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Leeds Rhinos star drops out of England squad through injury

Yesterday Shaun Wane named his England team for the game with France on Saturday as he continues his preparations for next year’s World Cup. The news prompted much discussion and there were many decisions some felt the need to question.

The headline was no doubt John Bateman being handed the captaincy. The England squad’s most capped player and world class on his day, there’s a clear argument to be made to explain the decision to give him the armband.

But others felt that the leadership role should have gone to someone in better form or perhaps someone who has experience as a captain like Wigan teammate Liam Farrell.

That said, another surprise was the decision to include Wigan fullback Zak Hardaker at centre. Granted he has worn the number three shirt all year for the Warriors, but most believe he’s much better at one.

Such a move saw Leeds youngster Harry Newman miss out of the 17 leaving a number of Leeds fans frustrated as well as those who believed it was the perfect time to begin Newman’s development as a future international star.

Newman finished the year incredibly strongly with a number of top class showings especially his display against Hull FC at the Magic Weekend. Thus many were confused by his absence but a recent statement from the England set-up perhaps sheds further light on his exclusion.

Newman’s relationship with the England squad has often been undermined by injury. His first call-up came at the start of 2020 but it was feared he’d soon fall out following his heart-breaking leg break against Hull KR last September.

So, it was brilliant to see him included in Wane’s 20-man squad and it seemed a formality that he’d feature alongside Wakefield’s Reece Lyne in the centres until yesterday’s team news surfaced.

However, it has since been revealed that he’s left the squad after aggravating a leg injury. Warrington youngster and England Knight Connor Wrench has now taken his place.

Leeds fans will be hoping he soon gets over his injury so that he can have a full pre-season and continue his superb development.

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