Shaun Wane picks strong 20-man England squad for French test

Now that the book has closed on the 2021 Super League season, the attention now switches to England’s World Cup preparations as Shaun Wane looks to end a five-decade wait for World Cup glory in 2022.

Preparations get under way for the ex-Wigan boss with an interesting test against the French at the Stade Gilbert Brutus next week. The French will be able to field three Grand Finalists from this year’s decider as well as a number of other Catalans stars and plenty of players who helped Toulouse achieve promotion this year.

Wane has also been able to name a strong squad further raising expectations for what should be an interesting contest. That said, he was unable to name any Australia-based players as well as the likes of Sam Tomkins and Daryl Clark through injury. Clark’s absence sees England Knights Captain Danny Walker included along with Matty Lees who also featured in the Knights’ 56-4 win over Jamaica on Friday.

However, Jordan Abdull could make his international debut after a superb season for Hull KR which saw him nominated for the Man of Steel. Speaking of individual accolades, 2021 Lance Todd Trophy winner Niall Evalds features along with the former Man of Steel Paul McShane.

Unsurprisingly, double winners St Helens feature predominately in the squad through the aforementioned Lees, Alex Walmsley, Morgan Knowles, Tommy Makinson and Jonny Lomax.

Warrington are also prominent with four players named with Mike Cooper, Ben Currie and Joe Philbin joining Walker in the 20. League leaders Catalans are also represented through winger Tom Davies who could come up against fellow Dragons winger Fouad Yaha in the game.

The Wigan backrow could be included in the shape of Liam Farrell and John Bateman and they are joined by former Man of Steel Zak Hardaker as rumours about his future swirl.

Over in West Yorkshire, Wakefield fans will be pleased to see Reece Lyne named but he’ll have to fend off young Harry Newman of Leeds for a centre spot. Newman is joined by Kruise Leeming and Mikolaj Oledzki.

England’s 20-man squad:

Jordan Abdull (Hull KR)
Ben Currie (Warrington)
Tom Davies (Catalans)
Niall Evalds (Castleford)
John Bateman (Wigan)
Mike Cooper (Warrington)
Liam Farrell (Wigan)
Zak Hardaker (Wigan)
Morgan Knowles (St Helens)
Kruise Leeming (Leeds)
Matty Lees (St Helens)
Jonny Lomax (St Helens)
Reece Lynne (Wakefield)
Paul McShane (Castleford)
Tommy Makinson (St Helens)
Harry Newman (Leeds)
Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds)
Joe Philbin (Warrington)
Danny Walker (Warrington)
Alex Walmsley (St Helens)

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11 months ago

Bateman finished Farrell had hiis day Conner needs to add more steel to his game but knowing him will he be bothered bcos he doesn’t seem bothered most the time with hull fc I don’t think wane likes the best centre in the in my eyes Percival hardaker gives 100/ all time