Shaun Wane has surprised many with the decision to name a huge 40-man England squad as they prepare for the clash with France at the end of this month.
France named a 30-man squad earlier today and now Wane has revealed his 40-man squad including 20 uncapped players and plenty of young faces like Morgan Gannon of Leeds Rhinos, Will Pryce of Huddersfield Giants and Mikey Lewis of Hull KR.
The current Steve Prescott Man of Steel leader George Williams is one of eight players named from the in-form Super League table-toppers Warrington Wolves, with Josh Thewlis, Matty Nicholson and Danny Walker all being selected after featuring for England Knights last season.
Wane has now explained the thought process behind the squad:
“I’ve selected a very young extended squad this time around and that is very much with the 2025 World Cup in France in mind. There are still several experienced players within the squad who featured in last year’s World Cup, and others who could come back in. I am hoping the more experienced cohort help those younger players adapt and thrive in an international camp which will be very demanding.
“As always, the squad will be fluid, and players will be added if they are performing well and vice versa should performances dip. I think the squad really shows the depth of talent across the Betfred Super League, which plenty of people saw in person and on TV across the Easter Weekend.
“The mid-season international against France is the first step on the road to the next Rugby League World Cup and we are hoping to begin the journey in front of a packed house at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium.”