The top 5 contenders to be England’s hooker at the World Cup

With the World Cup approaching at the end of 2021, there are already debates circulating about who will be in Shaun Wane’s thinking. Here are the top five contenders to be England’s hooker.

Josh Hodgson

Likely to be the first candidate in at number nine, Josh Hodgson has been at the top of his game for some time with Canberra in the NRL. Proven at the highest level, Hodgson may be used more sparingly under Wane than under former boss Wayne Bennett given his total commitment to a structured game.

James Roby

He will be 36 by the time the World Cup Final comes around, but there is no stopping the evergreen James Roby. With back-to-back titles or St Helens under his belt, the hooker continues to impress at the highest level. Though he’s never really been given a shot at a national level in recent years, Roby would offer England a much quicker ruck than Hodgson.

Daryl Clark

Warrington’s star man Daryl Clark has had to make do with just eight England call-ups since bursting onto the scene, but if Wane wants to punish teams around the ruck then Clark is his man. Still only 27, the number nine has a turn of pace that England have been missing at the hooking role.

Paul McShane

No one predicted Paul McShane would be in the running for an England shirt a few years ago, yet, following brilliant season upon season for Castleford, he’s cast himself into the reckoning. The 2020 Man of Steel, it would certainly be some turnaround for McShane to feature in the World Cup after considering retirement barely five years ago.

Sam Powell

A selection out of left-field, Sam Powell took his game to another level in 2020 for Wigan. After stepping out of the shadow of Michael McIlorum, Powell has cemented himself as the Warriors’ number nine, becoming an integral cog in the Wigan wheel. Plus, his connection with Wane could certainly help his chances.

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saintokell
saintokell
1 year ago

roby has retired internationally hasn’t he?