Today England meet Tonga in the second test of the series at Huddersfield Giants’ John Smith’s Stadium as former Wigan Warriors boss Shaun Wane renews rivalries with former St Helens boss Kristian Woolf with the duo’s two teams taking on one another time after a war of words in recent weeks.
If Tonga can claim a win over England this time after a 22-18 defeat to Wane’s side last week, they will set up a series decider at the home of Leeds Rhinos: the newly named AMT Headingley Stadium. However, a win for England will place them on the cusp of securing a series clean sweep against Tonga.
Last week Man of the Match Mikey Lewis shone scoring a try after setting up a score for Toby King as he shows Warrington Wolves what they will receive again in 2024 after a year long loan at Wigan Warriors.
This was before a brace of tries from Tom Johnstone sealed the win but as England prepare for the second test they have lost two players.
St Helens duo Morgan Knowles and Tommy Makinson picked up injuries against Tonga in the first test and were ruled out. Makinson’s injury exacerbated the loss of Dom Young after an infection has left him in hospital.
This sees both Ben Currie and Matty Ashton, the Warrington Wolves duo, replace the Saints pair within the 19-man squad. The 17-man matchday squad has now been confirmed and it sees Ashton start on the wing whilst Currie misses out, instead taking up the 18th man role.
England’s team sees just the one change in the starting line-up with Ashton coming in for Makinson, whilst the bench sees Liam Farrell step up from 18th man and onto the bench to replace Morgan Knowles.
Jack Welsby once again captains his nation whilst it will be a special occasion for Chris Hill who is set to make his 35th England appearance from the bench, at his home team’s stadium in Huddersfield. That will take Hill to third on the most capped England players, behind just Ryan Hall (40) and James Graham (45).
Man of the Match from the first Test Mikey Lewis again features and he’ll be looking to impress again in an attempt to hold off captain George Williams who returns next week at Headingley. Lewis is again partnered with Smith whilst the experience of Daryl Clark is selected instead of the youth in Danny Walker at hooker.
England’s 17-Man Squad for the Second Tonga Test