England are about to face off against Tonga in the first test in an historic three test series, the first game in which St Helens’ star Jack Welsby will captain his nation.
The game has been delayed because of fans struggling to get into the stadium due to ticket scanners though, with later kick off time of 14.40 now confirmed.
Following the suspension of regular captain George Williams it was confirmed that Welsby would skipper England, becoming the youngest to do so aged just 22.
Following a Man of Steel nominee level season in which he shone at full-back, he will now lead out England against Tonga at his home stadium.
The decision to offer Welsby the armband split opinion however Wane has now spoken to the BBC explaining why the Saints man is the right man for the job.
Asked what a captain should be, Wane expressed why Welsby fits the role perfectly,
“It needs to be a person who can handle pressure really well and Jack fits that, he’s done it for years.
“Obviously George is the captain, unfortunately he’s not out there, but Jack Welsby brings us loads of energy, he’s very very confident, he doesn’t panic under pressure and that’s a great skill for me to be a captain.”
Wane also noted that it was part of a succession plan and leadership group that is being established for far beyond his tenure as head coach.
“Yeah, and it is a strong leadership group and George is only 28 and he’s one of the best players in the world and he’s not that old,” Wane explained.
“The next one in will be Jack, I’ll be gone in a few years and hopefully the next coach coming in is going to get some really, really good leaders.”
Welsby will start at full-back with a backline also including domestic teammate Tommy Makinson, fellow Man of Steel nominee Tom Johnstone and then centres Harry Newman and Toby King.
The rest of the spine is made up of Harry Smith, debutant Mikey Lewis and incoming Saints man Daryl Clark whilst the forward pack sees plenty of NRL talent.
Tom Burgess, John Bateman, Elliot Whitehead and Victor Radley make up the pack alongside Mike McMeeken, the lone Super League big man who starts.
A bench of Danny Walker, Chris Hill, Morgan Knowles and Matty Lees makes up the rest of England’s side.