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Shaun Wane explains selection choices after naming six possible debutants

England face France on Saturday in Toulouse and head coach Shaun Wane has named his 20-man squad that will travel and it’s thrown up plenty of new faces.

In total, there are six players that have yet to be called up to an England camp in the squad with Wane making plenty of changes and opting for a blend of youth and experience.

It had been stated that the squad would be very young with a view to preparing for the 2026 World Cup and that’s been realised with two 20-year-old players named.

Those players are NRL-bound Matty Nicholson who played in this fixture last year aged 19 and St Helens prop George Delaney who is among the leading lights in terms of young props in Super League.

There is a lot of experience in the squad though with the likes of captain and vice-captain George Willliams and Jack Welsby, whilst the most senior player is Ben Currie who has had a stellar season for Warrington Wolves after moving to loose forward.

As part of the squad announcement by the RFL, Shaun Wane made a comment on what the ethos was behind his selection.

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Shaun Wane names six debutants in England squad

Having explained that youth would be a priority, it’s no surprise to see Shaun Wane name six possible debutants with those man being  Castleford Tigers centre Sam Wood, Wigan Warriors hooker Brad O’Neill, Hull KR loose forward Elliot Minchella, St Helens prop George Delaney, Huddersfield Giants forward Oliver Wilson and Leeds Rhinos forward James McDonnell.

Speaking as part of the announcement about his selection, Shaun Wane said: “I’m pleased with the squad we’ve brought together for this mid-season international and there is a strong balance between some more experienced international players and some newer faces to the England squad.

“All of the new players who have come into the squad have impressed me with their performances in the Betfred Super League this season and have earned their spot in this England squad.”

He’s also affirmed the fact that he is expecting a strong test too, something that he believes will put his side in good stead for the series against Samoa at the end of the season.

“Having travelled to face France back in 2021, we know they will offer us a stern test which is exactly what we need ahead of the two-game series against Samoa this Autumn.”

England Squad to take on France

Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), George Delaney (St Helens), Tyler Dupree (Wigan Warriors), Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos), James Harrison (Warrington Wolves), Tom Johnstone (Catalans Dragons), Matty Lees (St Helens), Mikey Lewis, Jez Litten (both Hull KR), James McDonnell (Leeds Rhinos), Elliot Minchella (Hull KR), Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos), Matty Nicholson (Warrington Wolves), Brad O’Neill, Harry Smith, Luke Thompson (all Wigan Warriors), Jack Welsby (St Helens), George Williams (Warrington Wolves), Oliver Wilson (Huddersfield Giants), Sam Wood (Castleford Tigers

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