Shaun Wane explains why he’s happy for Victor Radley to represent England at the Rugby League World Cup

There was some surprise news on Saturday.

It was confirmed that two-time NRL Champion Victor Radley would represent England at the World Cup despite being named in the preliminary squad for New South Wales in this year’s State of Origin.

As is always the case with decisions where ‘Australian’ players are potentially picked instead of ‘English’ players, some people have been surprised by the news and concerned about who he might replace in the squad with Morgan Knowles’ 13 shirt now no longer a certainty.

England coach Shaun Wane has now explained the decision making process behind allowing him into his squad: “I’ve always said that I’m open to selecting players who want to represent their English heritage – but they have to be outstanding in their position, and 100% committed,” said the England coach.

“I rate Victor Radley very highly as a player, and he’s a great addition to the options we have in a position where we have some really strong contenders. We need quality in depth in every position, and Victor is a big addition to that.

“He now joins the group we already have playing in the NRL who will be part of our preparations for the World Cup. We’re in regular touch, sharing a lot of information with them, to make sure they’re all ready to be part of our squad if they’re selected.”

Victor Radley also opened up about how important it was to him to play for England.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” he explained.

“I’ve always wanted to play for England for my old man. Everybody wants to do the right thing by their dad, don’t they?

“Dad’s proud of where he’s from, proud of his family, proud of supporting Sheffield Wednesday.

“This was a gut feeling that it’s what I want to do – and with the World Cup coming up in England at the end of this year, it was now or never.

“If I ended up sitting there watching the World Cup and knowing I could have been playing for England – that wouldn’t have felt good.”

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