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 centres.
A natural fullback, Zak Hardaker made the switch to centre 18 months ago for Wigan following the signing of Bevan French. Though it took some time to get used to the new position, Hardaker became one of Wigan’s most consistent players towards the back end of last season. Should definitely be in Wane’s thinking if he takes 2021 by storm.
He suffered with injury for a lot of 2020, missing St Helens’ title-winning charge, but Mark Percival is still one of the best centres in Super League. With the added bonus of being a goalkicker too, Percival should easily be in contention.
Another centre that endured an injury-ravaged season, Oliver Gildart is one of the most potent attacking centres in Super League. Still only 24 years of age, the future is bright for the Wigan man and that could include a World Cup appearance at the end of the year.
For the past few seasons, Josh Griffin has been at the top of his game for Hull. Always one to take the carries and do the hard yards, the centre would be a welcome addition in games where the opposition have devastating runners.
Wane has already challenged Toby King to be better than Greg Inglis in 2021, so the ex-Wigan boss must think highly of the Warrington centre. Having improved with every passing season, King is surely on the cusp of England selection even with those listed above.