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Rugby League World Cup Team of the Week: England dominate as Leeds Rhinos and Leigh Centurions men feature despite defeat

The first week of World Cup action has come to an end and now that everyone has played, we have put together our team of the week which is unsurprisingly dominated by English players after the win over Samoa.

Fullback: Joey Manu (New Zealand)
As New Zealand battled Lebanon, it was a tight battle at 18-12 until two moments of Manu magic gave the Kiwis control. The first saw him create a try for Dylan Brown before one of the great solo tries we’ll see as he bounced out of tackles and chipped over to score.

Wingers: Dom Young (England) & Jake Maizen (Italy)
Dom Young had to make the team after scoring a world class brace against Samoa as well as making over 150 metres. He’s joined by hat-trick hero Jake Maizen whose third try against Scotland was particularly special.

Centres: Kallum Watkins (England) & Suli Mosese (Tonga)
Like Young, Watkins hoovered up metres all afternoon against Samoa. He also got over for a deserved try and his ruck speed was so often key including for the opening try. He’s joined by the destructive Mosese whose break for Tonga’s third try was particularly special.

Halfbacks: Jack Welsby (England) & Luke Keary (Ireland)
Jack Welsby was the player of the first round for me. He scored the opening try of the tournament, created the next two with two amazing passes and also picked up another assist in the second half. He’s joined by a halfback who oozed class from minute one till he was taken off part way through the first half. A privilege to watch on British soil.

Props: Chris Hill (England) & Jordan Dezaria (France)
Chris Hill proved any doubters wrong with a brilliant performance up the middle for England causing Samoa endless problems from start to finish. He’s joined by Jordan Dezaria who helped squeeze the life out of Greece and got over for a try.

Hooker: Edwin Ipape (Papua New Guinea)
Leigh Centurions hooker Edwin Ipape has had an outstanding season in 2022 picking up the Championship Player of the Year. He showed why with a destructive and energetic performance from dummyhalf creating a lovely try for Lachlan Lam.

Second-Rowers: Elliot Whitehead (England) & Rhyse Martin (Papua New Guinea)
Before I talk about Whitehead and Martin, Rhodri Lloyd’s effort needs some fantastic praise. He got a deserved try and didn’t stop battling till the end for Wales and his charge down nearly saw them nick a draw. Onto Martin though, he led his team magnificently, scored a try and equalled the world record for goals without missing. Meanwhile, Elliot Whitehead got a lovely brace of tries as he stretched teh Samoan pack.

Loose-Forward: Victor Radley (England)
Three loose-forwards picked up the Man of the Match in games this week as Ben Garcia and Nathan Brown joined Victor Radley in this club. Radley was the beating heart of England’s win over Samoa and his early efforts were the foundation for the win.

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