Shaun Wane explains why he picked Chris Hill in the England squad

The 24-man England squad chosen by head coach Shaun Wane for the fast-approaching Rugby League World Cup has caused much debate.

Though the most popular discussion has been around some of the names he has left out, there has also been some surprising inclusions.

One of them is veteran prop Chris Hill, who despite having a superb season for Huddersfield Giants, was perhaps a player many people overlooked as he approaches his 35th birthday.

But speaking about the selection, Wane went some way to explaining why Hill, who already has 29 caps for his country, was included.

“The way he carries the ball, his metres after contact, his work ethic, the way he has acquitted himself since he has gone to Huddersfield – I think he is a really, really good player,” Wane said.

He continued: “The phone call and the meeting I had with him about joining us, I’m not going to tell you detail of what he said but, he showed me and verbalised to me that England means everything to him.”

One of the other big debates has been about the hooking position with Michael McIlorum and Andy Ackers favoured as Wane’s two number nines for the tournament.

That meant the likes of Kruise Leeming, Paul McShane and Daryl Clarke were overlooked, and the England boss admitted it was a tough decision.

“We have some good hookers, it has been tough,” Wane added. “I am a big fan of the hookers that we have had to leave out, but that’s my job.

“I need to, in my heart, pick two hookers that I think can do us a job and get us through to the World Cup [final].”

England take on Fiji in a World Cup warm-up match this Friday, before their opening game of the tournament against Samoa at St James’ Park a week on Saturday.

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