Shaun Wane calls on fans for important role in Tonga Test Series

With just two rounds of the Super League season left to play we’re edging closer and closer to the Grand Final and from there the long awaited England versus Tonga Test Series that starts a week after the season finale at Old Trafford.

At the launch event for the test series yesterday Shaun Wane spoke with the media about his excitement regarding the first of it’s kind Test series and he made a particular point to the fans to play their part.

The three tests will be played at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium, Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium and then Leeds’ Headingley but with the first game at the Totally Wicked, where the event launch was, Wane called on fans to replicate some of the Super League level atmosphere’s for the national side.

“I want to make it a cauldron,” Wane explained to the Sportsman Rugby League Youtube Channel.

“I remember when we played Tonga in New Zealand, what it was like. We want to make it the same for them when they come here.

“So I want to make it very, very intense and they can probably handle it but it’ll make it a really good test match if our fans could do that.”

Tickets for the match remain on sale via the RFL website for fans who need their international rugby league fix, six months on from the international against France and a year on from the historic World Cup on English shores.

England and Tonga didn’t meet in that tournament but the side coached by former St Helens boss Kristian Woolf did make the quarter-finals in which they were knocked out by eventual finalists Samoa, who also knocked out England via golden point in the semi-finals.

Familiar names on the Tongan team sheet could include Saints star Konrad Hurrell as well as Huddersfield Giants man Tui Lolohea, with a further St Helens connection being that Paul Wellens will be in the coaching booth with Woolf.

Wane has called upon former Wigan Warriors and current Brisbane Broncos assistant coach Lee Briers to join his staff alongside recently departed Castleford Tigers boss Andy Last, but Wane couldn’t contain his excitement for the series which is set to kick off in just under six weeks time.

“Yeah, I’m loving it. I’m really enjoying it and I’m very thankful to BetFred for making sure that they look after us and give us everything we need. I’m very, very grateful for that. So, great job. Love every day and I can’t wait for the Test series.”