Shaun Wane reveals phone call with Jackson Hastings over England selection

England head coach Shaun Wane has revealed he was in regularly communication with Wests Tigers star Jackson Hastings prior to leaving him out of his World Cup squad.

Hastings had a mixed first season back in the NRL, with his side, Wests Tigers, collecting the not so coveted Wooden Spoon.

The man himself had a fair season, including a match-winning drop-goal from just under 40m out, before his season was ended on the final day of July when he broke his ankle in a victory over Brisbane.

Despite this, the former Salford and Wigan playmaker made himself available for Wane’s squad, but the England boss instead opted for George Williams, Marc Sneyd and Jack Welsby as his options in the halves.

Speaking to the media, Wane was asked about contact with Hastings, a former Man of Steel, who, despite being born in Wollongong, represented Great Britain in their tour of New Zealand in 2019.

“Yeah, I spoke to him,” Wane confirmed. “I spoke to him last week, two weeks before that and two weeks before that.

“I was just really really honest and straight. He’s been out with a broken leg and needs to get himself right. But, you know, I’ve got three good halves.”

One player who did find himself in the squad is Sydney Roosters’ Victor Radley, who, like Hastings, was born down under, before he declared himself for England on account of his father hailing from Sheffield.

Wane detailed Radley’s eagerness to make the cut, saying: “He messaged me, then he Whatsapped me and he rang me, which makes a difference.”

“I didn’t need to persuade him, the conversation was very one-sided about his desire to play for England, and a lot of detail on how important it was for him to win.”

Radley faces a challenge for the 13 jersey, namely from Saints’ Morgan Knowles, but when the squad numbers are released, and we’re given a greater idea about how Wane might set the team up, we might know how much of a role Radley will play in his debut England campaign.

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