England’s preparations for the next World Cup will kick up a notch at the end of this year as they take on Tonga in a three game series.
It is a huge boost for England and Shaun Wane especially so because, according to reports down under, Tonga have turned down the chance to play in a Four Nations tournament with Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.
Making this even more impressive and interesting is that coach, former St Helens boss, Kristian Woolf, revealed that the driving force behind this was the players themselves:
“We involve the players, certainly the leaders, but the greater group as well in everything we do as it’s about them at the end of the day.
“It’s about giving those guys the opportunity to represent their country that they’re very proud of and it’s important that they’re part of those decisions.
“They were a big part of that and they were all included in the discussion and given the opportunity to put their thoughts forward.
“Some were keen to have games a little bit closer to home but the vast majority were excited to get to the UK and play in a Test match series the like that Tonga has never been a part of before. They all understand the historic nature of that and to really make amends for some disappointment at the World Cup.
“The overriding feeling and overriding excitement was about going over and showing what we didn’t at the World Cup.”