Former Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane takes his England side to Huddersfield Giants’ John Smith’s Stadium today for the second test against Tonga ahead of a final meeting against Kristian Woolf’s men at the home of Leeds Rhinos: AMT Headingley Stadium.
England lead the series 1-0 after a win over Tonga at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium. England picked up a 22-18 win over Tonga having more energy for the majority of the second half. Mikey Lewis, Toby King and a brace from Tom Johnstone claimed the tries as they found a way to win the game.
Much was made of the attendance with the crowd shy of 13,000 at 12,898. This was a disappointment to many but still a strong crowd. However, today’s crowd us set to be larger.
By Wednesday, the game had already surpassed 10,000 tickets sold and that number is only going to get bigger and track towards 15,000.
Either way, it is set to be a terrific game between two of the top five international sides in our sport both of whom are building towards the 2026 World Cup having both been disappointed by where their World Cups came to an end.
Shaun Wane is building towards the next World Cup and speaking on the Sportsman, he reflected on the opening game: “A six or a seven. I thought we did some really good things, I’m really happy with the win. I thought some bit of detail with our attack work and getting back to work this session will have helped.
“A lot of video today and I know the players are nice and fresh and fit on Saturday because I thought that game took quite a bit out of the players. It was a very physical game on an energy sapping pitch so the main thing is that recovery and we’ll look after the players this week and they’ll be firing on Saturday.”
He also claimed his forwards won England the game in the first 15 minutes: “I thought the first 10-15 minutes won us the game. I thought the physical battle we dominated it, but I do understand that the class they’ve got in the team, the strong ball carriers, it’s going to be game on.
“They won’t want to go 2-0 down this Saturday, so it’s going to be a different challenge. We definitely want to go 2-0 up and it’s going to make Saturday’s game absolutely crucial.”