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Sky Sports set for major TV broadcast deal

England men’s and women’s sides will be in action at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in the summer – and they will all be covered by Sky Sports

The Men’s side will once again face the Combined Nations All Stars – who will be coached by Rugby League legend Ellery Hanley.

Hanley will be aiming to emulate Australian coaching guru Tim Sheens, who last year steered the All Stars to a 26-24 victory over England at the same venue, when he goes head-to-head with his former Wigan and Leeds team-mate – England head coach Shaun Wane.

Sky Sports will provide live and exclusive coverage of England’s bid for revenge, as part of a double header which sees England Women taking on France. England Women defeated France 40-4 in Perpignan last October and the match offers critical World Cup preparation for both nations, who are ranked third and fifth in the world respectively.

The All Stars fixture revives a Rugby League tradition which stretches back to the Other Nationalities team of the early 20th century, with the team made up of players from across the Rugby League world who are currently playing in the northern hemisphere.

And this year the England versus the Combined Nations All Stars fixture assumes extra significance following the devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami on the Tongan archipelago. Tongan players are almost certain to feature in the All Stars squad and next week the RFL, in association with OXEN and Rugby League Cares, will announce details of a Tonga-inspired All Stars jersey, proceeds from the sales of which will go towards fundraising for those affected by the tsunami.

Former assistant coach Andrew Henderson will be Hanley’s right-hand man for the fixture.

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