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The surprise names selected to star for England against France

England Shaun Wane Sam Wood James McDonnell Harry Newman

Shaun Wane has chosen his England squad to take on France in Toulouse this weekend, and it’s full of surprise names.

As promised by Wane previously, it’s a mixture of young stars and experienced names in the England squad to take on their French counterparts.

It has some natural inclusions such as George Williams, Mikey Lewis and Jack Welsby, who are all players that have represented the side previously.

It also has some of the best young talents in the league, such as George Delaney and Brad O’Neill, who could make their debuts for England’s first-team.

Players such as Jez Litten and Elliot Minchella from Hull KR have also been some of the stand-out names from the 2024 season, and their performances have been enough to earn them an England call-up.

However, there are also some names that have surprised many fans since the announcement of the squad.

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Surprise players named by Shaun Wane for England

A shock inclusion is that of a Castleford Tigers player – the team have only managed three victories all season but are represented in the squad by centre Sam Wood, who has been impressive in recent weeks and signed from Hull KR ahead of the current season.

Wood , at 26 years old, could make his England debut after over 100 Super League appearances and tries against Salford, Leigh Leopards and, most recently, Hull KR this season.

Another shock inclusion is the Leeds Rhinos duo of Harry Newman and James McDonnell – Harry Newman, being a centre, is perhaps understandable due to the lack of quality in the position for England currently, but Jake Wardle not playing is a surprise.

McDonnell, meanwhile, has struggled to impress this year, and is selected over Junior Nsemba, who has been one of the best second-rowers in the league this year even at such a young age.

Oliver Wilson of Huddersfield Giants is another surprise, with few tipping him for selection. He has previously represnted England internationally on duty with the Knights squad.

Tyler Dupree, Super League star, playing for England

Credit: Imago Images

As well as suprise inclusions, there are some surprise omissions.

Jez Litten and Brad O’Neill’s inclusions mean Danny Walker and Daryl Clark have been overlooked at hooker.

Clark, despite being 32, has been excellent in this campaign, while young Danny Walker’s season with Warrington had caused most people to see him as someone that should be at the front of Wane’s mind this week.

Wigan Warriors stars Jake Wardle and Liam Marshall are also not selected, with the latter being the top scorer in Super League in 2024.

The England squad was confirmed by the RFL today.

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