With no Super League at the moment, we’ve spent many weeks looking at the past and reliving our favourite rugby league memories but now it’s time to look to the future and what the England team might look like in 2030.
Full-back: Jack Welsby
Former Blackbrook amateur Welsby has made a splash in Super League this year with seven appearances and three tries to his name for champions St Helens. In the coming years he’ll likely take the no.1 jersey from Lachlan Coote and become the first long-serving Saints full-back since Paul Wellens. Welsby, who will be 29 in 2030, fought off Hull’s Connor Wynne and Leeds’ Jack Walker for the role in this team England team, competition that will bring out the best in him in the coming years.
Wingers: Louis and Innes Senior
What a story this would be; two twins racking up the tries on the wing for England. Since making their debuts in 2018, Louis and Innes Senior have secured a fair amount of Super League experience, and that’ll only increase in the years to come. Over the next decade both should become regulars for Huddersfield and force their way into international contention. The pair have already featured together for England at academy level when they recorded a victory against the Australian Schoolboys in 2018, hopefully a sign of things to come!
Centres: Harry Newman and Jack Broadbent
Harry Newman has taken Super League by storm in 2020 with two tries and three assists in five games, earning him a place in Shaun Wane’s first England squad. He has showcased all the speed, strength and natural talent at his disposal and is the early favourite for Super League’s Young Player of the Year. Another young Leeds centre with a bright future is Jack Broadbent, with the 18-year-old standing out for the Rhinos in pre-season. Having already made 14 senior appearances for Featherstone and Batley, scoring five tries, he has a bright future ahead of him and could easily have a similar impact to Newman when his chance arrives.
Halves: Jake Trueman and Harry Smith
In 10 years, Jake Trueman will be 31 with 14 seasons of Super League experience and will likely be trusted to organise this England side. He is most definitely a future England star and his impact at such a young age has rarely been seen before. His partner in this team is Harry Smith with the 20-year-old now a mainstay in the Wigan side. Playing alongside Man of Steel Jackson Hastings won’t be doing Smith any harm, with the young playmaker leading Wigan to three consecutive Academy Grand Final wins before his step up to the first team. Smith was also named Man of the Match when England Academy defeated the Australian Schoolboys in 2018 and has future international star written all over him.
Props: Matty Lees and Tom Holroyd
Matty Lees is the reigning Young Player of the Year and will be a senior member of the England side by 2030. Lees is in line to take up the mantle left by Luke Thompson at Saints in 2021 and if he continues to progress at his current rate, he will find himself knocking on the door of the England team for next year’s World Cup. Also is the front-row is 19-year-old Leeds prop Tom Holroyd who made his debut two years ago. Right now, Holroyd is waiting to explode onto the scene and the 114kg prop will only get bigger and more devastating. Whenever he has played for the Rhinos, he’s not looked out of place and but for injuries, he would have played many more games.
Hooker: Danny Walker
Danny Walker has already made his mark on Super League in 2020 by taking the starting hooker spot away from Daryl Clark at Warrington in the final two games before the season was suspended. This is no mean feat given Clark’s consistency and quality and it underlines just how good Walker is and is going to be in the future. The former Widnes starlet is a quick and evasive hooker and will be a huge asset to England in the future.
Second rowers: Matthew Storton and Oliver Wilson
Matthew Storton has been outstanding for Hull KR in 2020 with the promising young forward arguably their best player so far this season. His 100kg frame makes him quite the force and one that could be very effective a little further out wide in the second-row. Storton has a bright future and may well form a deadly back-row partnership at international level alongside his former Bradford teammate Oliver Wilson, who joined Huddersfield in 2019. Wilson, 20, has been impressive since signing for the Giants and will thrive as he is given more opportunities in Super League.
Loose forward: Morgan Smithies
At the age of 19, Smithies is already a Wigan regular and could be in the England side for next year’s World Cup. He has been an ever-present for the Warriors this season and is certainly the heir to Sean O’Loughlin as the future Wigan and England 13. His dominant style, fearless attitude and leadership qualities make him a future England captain and a player that could be on the international scene for the next decade.
Interchanges: Lewis Dodd, Ethan Havard, Sam Walters and Muizz Mustapha
Leeds youngsters Sam Walters and Muizz Mustapha featured in the England Academy side for that famous 2018 win over Australia, as did Wigan’s Ethan Havard. All three have bright futures and are expected to play regularly for their respective teams in the coming years. While they provide the size, Lewis Dodd offers an alternative half-back option. Dodd’s record of 21 tries in 25 games for the St Helens Academy side last season has put of him on the cusp of the first team and he could be a game-breaking player for England in the future.