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Predicting the strange England side Shaun Wane could name today

Today England take on France in their first step towards the 2025 World Cup.

With a somewhat experimental squad to pick from, is this how Shaun Wane will line up his side?

Fullback: Jack Welsby
It was clear as soon as Sam Tomkins announced his retirement that Jack Welsby was the future of the number one shirt for England. He could wear it for the next 10 years and many would expect him to do so.

Wingers: Ash Handley & Matty Ashton
Two wingers who deserve their shot in an England shirt, Ash Handley has played for England before but never in a proper test and has all the qualities of a top international winger. Meanwhile, Matty Ashton has speed to burn and has been superb in Super League this year.

Centres: Toby King & Jake Wardle
With Harry Newman and Mark Percival amongst those who have withdrawn from the squad, it is the Wigan Warriors centres who have come in and added extra quality to Matt Peet’s side who could feature.

Halfbacks: Harry Smith & George Williams
George Williams is one of the big names who will play on Saturday in his first game after being named captain of England. The question who will join him. It won’t be Jonny Lomax or Jordan Adbull so it is a choice between Harry Smith and Mikey Lewis and Smith might just compliment Williams’ style a touch more.

Props: Tom Holroyd & James Harrison
With Mikolaj Oledzki, Alex Walmsley, Matty Leess, Chris Hill and Olly Wilson all unavailable, the job of being England’s middles will fall to Tom Holroyd and James Harrison. Both have started the season well.

Hooker: Danny Walker
One of Super League’s underrated but most in form players, he deserves his shot and could be England’s number nine for years to come.

Second-Row: Mike McMeeken & Kai Pearce-Paul
Two more players who featured for England in the World Cup will provide experience in the pack. McMeeken could in fairness start in the front row but the duo will give England a nice balance.

Loose-Forward: Morgan Smithies
With Morgan Knowles banned, this is Morgan Smithies chance to put his hand up for the England 13 shirt moving forward. He deserves the chance.

Substitutes: Jez Litten, Tyler Dupree, Ethan Havard, Ben Currie
On the bench Jez Litten will be given his debut as an impact sub although Mikey Lewis is an option there too. Props Tyler Dupree and Ethan Havard are both set to be rewarded for their starts to the season and one of Warrington Wolves duo Matty Nicholson and Ben Currie will likely complete the bench.

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