In April, England take on France in their first game since their Rugby League World Cup exit against Samoa.
It is as yet unclear whether Shaun Wane will still be in charge with a review into whether he should remain England boss still ongoing.
Nonetheless, here is our prediction for how the England team could look come April.
Fullback: Sam Tomkins
England’s skipper is almost guaranteed a spot in the side in April if fit. A great leader and organiser, he will be against plenty of his Catalans Dragons teammates.
Wingers: Tommy Makinson and Ash Handley
Tommy Makinson has been England’s best winger since 2018 and though 31 he will remain on the wing at the start of the new season. Dom Young won’t join him as he plays in the NRL and Wane may look to a younger player than Ryan Hall in the shape of Leeds Rhinos Ash Handley who is the ideal modern winger especially after making metres galore last season.
Centres: Harry Newman and Mark Percival
Two players who would have featured in the World Cup in 2022 if they hadn’t picked up injuries. Both are sensational runners and try scorers and will cause France problems.
Halfbacks: Jack Welsby and George Williams
The halfbacks from the Rugby League World Cup were stand out. They both scored and created tries and were superb running threats. Yes, Jonny Lomax could be called upon but it may be time to focus on the future.
Props: Alex Walmsley and Matt Lees
Another player who missed the World Cup through injury, Alex Walmsley is one of the best forwards in Super League history and will replace the likes of Tom Burgess brilliantly. Next year could be the time Matty Lees takes to the first 13. Yes Chris Hill was great in the World Cup but he is a player at the end of his career.
Hooker: Andy Ackers
The same could be said of Michael McIlorum so Salford Red Devils hooker Andy Ackers could move into the starting team. He was best nine in the league at the end of the year.
Second-Rowers: Joe Batchelor and Kai Pearce-Paul
Two players who didn’t get as much game time as they perhaps deserved in the Rugby League World Cup, with John Bateman and Elliot Whitehead in the NRL they could get a starting spot.
Loose-Forward: Morgan Knowles
Likewise, with Victor Radley in the NRL, the 13 shirt will go to Super League’s top 13 Morgan Knowles. Knowles is the ideal modern 13 and will show it in an England shirt.
Substitutes: Jez Litten, Oliver Wilson, Morgan Smithies, Liam Byrne
Four players who are the future of the England side. Jez Litten is an excellent young hooker and Oliver Wilson and Liam Byrne are the future of the England front row and beat Mikolaj Oledzki to this side on account that Oledzki will have only just recovered from surgery. Morgan Smithies meanwhile is very similar to Knowles but the Wigan Warriors man is very under appreciated.