“This is the start of the World Cup” – Shaun Wane explains the importance of Combined Nations game

Shaun Wane has explained the importance of the Combined Nations game today.

It’s the second time England have met the Combined Nations after the two tussled last year in Wane’s first game in charge with his side losing 26-24 in a game which showed the work needed to be done by Wane and his squad if they were to win the World Cup.

This is a chance to demonstrate how far they’ve come under Wane and how close of far they are from World Cup success.

There have been a few naysayers ahead of the fixture especially with plenty of players opting to drop out of the fixture owing to injury precautions which has undermined the fixture some what with Jai Field – the potential main star of the Combined Nations – not testing England.

Some have suggested Yorkshire vs Lancashire would be beneficial or even England vs England Knights, but Shaun Wane has defended the fixture claiming this game is the start of the World Cup: “This is the start of the World Cup as far as I’m concerned. This game is as important as the Fiji game, which is just before the World Cup starts.

“First and foremost, I want to win. Ellery will have his team very motivated and we need to be better than them. It’s simple.”

He also explained the thinking behind his team selection: “I’ve picked a group of players who in my heart I know can do the job. Some are new to the set up; others like Ryan Hall are very experienced and are still performing at a high level.

“I’ve made the call on George Williams who, on his day, is one of the best in the world. If it doesn’t work out, it’s on me as head coach.

“Our preparation has been excellent, the players have been superb in training and there’s a good spirit in camp.”

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