Thanks to tries from Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves centre Toby King, Hull KR halfback Mikey Lewis and two from Tom Johnstone, England’s youngest ever captain Jack Welsby ended up on the winning side.
He was excellent and earned praise from both his coach but also his former St Helens coach Kristian Woolf who is of course in charge of Tonga.
England boss Shaun Wane said:
“Yeah good, Jack, competitive. They jammed a few times and stopped our D quite a few times but we’ll hopefully fix that. We’ve just been having a conversation on ways of fixing that, so he’s on to next week already and that’s Jack all over.”
On the superb pass to create Johnstone’s first try, Wane added: “It was unbelievable. He’s just a real skilful player. don’t think he’s been coached, he’s just like a throwback to the 80s and he’s just a really good player and he does things like he did when he was at school.
“Yeah, he is an outstanding talent. I loved coaching him in the World Cup last year and getting with him again, it’s been so enjoyable. Really, really enjoyable.”
Welsby in the eyes of many is the stand out performer in the Betfred Super League and has been a runner up for the Man of Steel award in two consecutive seasons.
After his performance in St Helens’ World Club Challenge win, NRL clubs have been knocking on the door for Welsby who is contracted at the club until 2026.
The Sydney Roosters have been linked with the fullback in the past and those links seem to pop up every now and then.
Now, Roar are reporting that NRL clubs could be willing to pay $700,000 to release Welsby from his deal at St Helens and get him immediately rather than waiting until 2026 to get their man.
They also pointed out that this would work in St Helens’ favour too as it would guarantee a fee for a player who certainly deserves one given the calibre of player he is and the performances we have seen from him in an England shirt.