Yesterday was perhaps the last major stop on the road to the World Cup for Shaun Wane and his England side.
In fact, the former Wigan boss described it as the start of the World Cup prior to the game. It’s been an oddly short journey under Wane – largely due to the pandemic – with only three stops. It began with defeat in this fixture 12 months ago, saw England defeat France in a lukewarm display at the end of last year and has seen England turn out their best display under Wane so far yesterday as they defeated the Combined Nations 18-4 with a committed display where the nailed the basics – something they’ll need if they are to be successful this autumn.
But what next for Wane in his World Cup preparations?
Well he revealed that there are planned training camps for July and August before a friendly before the World Cup against Fiji.
This does beg the question: are the Combined Nations fixtures enough?
Well perhaps they are considering most countries will have had similar or less preparation and Wane believes that the intensity of yesterday’s fixture mirrored that of a test match. He wants to see the concept continue.
“Yeah I want to see it continue,” Wane said yesterday after the game, “It was a good hit out that. It was similar to a test match. They’ve got big bodies. It was very similar to Samoa.”