Former Wigan Warriors boss Shaun Wane is preparing for the second test against Tonga this weekend at the home of Huddersfield Giants the John Smith’s Stadium prior to the Test Series’ conclusion at Leeds Rhinos’ AMT Headingley Stadium.
Wane has been forced into a couple of changes ahead of the second test with injuries to St Helens duo Morgan Knowles and Tommy Makinson. Both have picked up injuries ahead of the second test meaning Leigh Leopards prop Rob Mulhern has been named in the squad as has Warrington Wolves winger Matty Ashton.
The winger comes in because Dom Young’s test series is over with the winger suffering from an infection that spread to the brain so he was already ruled out. Ashton missed out on his England debut against France with club teammate Josh Thewlis and Leeds Rhinos star Ash Handley named ahead of him.
So the preparation for England ahead of the game against Tonga has been less than idea as Kristian Woolf’s men look to make it one-one in the series. There is already growing tensions between the two teams.
This is because Wane said that “half of St Helens” is working for Tonga and added that Woolf only “did okay” at St Helens despite winning five trophies in three years.
But the comments of Tonga skipper Fonua Blake have also “insulted” Shaun Wane.
He said after the defeat to England: “At the end of the day I feel like we lost the game ourselves, I don’t feel like they beat us. I think we handed them that game.”
Following this, NRL.com reported that Wane responded: “To say they didn’t feel we won the game is bit insulting to us but it’s been said. We’ll deal with it. We just don’t do that sort of thing.”
So a very real rivalry is emerging between the two sides ahead of the test match today.