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Shaun Wane defends St Helens after withdrawals

A lot has been made of the players who won’t play for England today rather than the players who will.

This all started on Monday when there were reports that 14 Super League stars had been withdrawn from the 40-man England squad before Shaun Wane reduced the squad further to a 19-man squad as they prepare to take on France in their first step towards the 2025 World Cup.

One thing many fans focused on was the fact that of the eight St Helens players in the initial squad only one is set to play today in the shape of Jack Welsby.

The the other seven were amongst those reportedly withdrawn.

Meanwhile, of the eight players picked from Warrington Wolves, seven could feature today whilst for Wigan Warriors six players could feature from their initial eight.

However, England boss and former Wigan coach Shaun Wane has defended St Helens.

After all before taking on the St Helens job, Paul Wellens was Shaun Wane’s assistant at England.

Wane said to the BBC: “It’s down to a bit of everything, including fatigue. [St Helens head coach] Paul Wellens is an England man, he’s worked with me and they’ve had a tough start with the travel. I know they’ve got a number of injuries.”

Today’s game kicks off at 16:30 after England women take on France.

Both games are on Sky Sports.

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