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Who are the six possible England debutants?

England RL players

Shaun Wane has selected his England squad to take on France in Toulouse this weekend, and six players have been picked for the first time.

As promised by Wane previously, it’s a side that seems to be looking forwards to the future, ahead of World Cup and Ashes action on the horizon.

Who are the players he’s chosen for the first time?

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2024

Who are the six possible England debutants?

George Delaney

St Helens George Delaney

Credit: Imago Images

One of the most exciting young players in Super League, the 20-year-old has previously represnted the England Knights side.

He made his debut against Castleford at just 18 and has since become an important member of the Saints side.

He also spent time on loan with RFL Championship side Swinton Lions.

He’s already got a Super League semi-final appearance to his name, although it was a narrow defeat to Catalans Dragons, and has been a starting prop in Saints’ recent games.

Delaney will surely be an England prop for many years to come.

James McDonnell

James McDonnell Leeds RHinos

Credit: Imago Images

Another forward, McDonnell is 24 years-old and started his Super League career the hard way, starting at centre against St Helens for Wigan in a 42-0 defeat.

He has represented the England Knights as well as Ireland at the 2021 World Cup (played in 2022).

Currently at Leeds Rhinos, his inclusion came as a surprise to many, as the side have struggled this year – and he’s in ahead of Junior Nsemba.

It was even a surprise to McDonnell himself, who said to BBC West Yorkshire: “It was a big surprise, but a welcome one!”

It does, however, show that Shaun Wane believes he could become a key player for England in the future.

He’s a solid tackler and will get stuck in against a decent France side, if chosen to play.

Elliot Minchella

Elliot Minchella Hull KR

Credit: Imago Images

Minchella is the oldest potential debutant, having to wait until he was 28 before finally being called up.

He made his Super League debut over a decade ago for Leeds Rhinos, and dropped down to the Championship on loan with London Broncos before signing permanently with Sheffield Eagles and Bradford Bulls.

Returning to Super League with Hull KR in 2020, he’s become one of the best forwards in Super League, helping the Robins to a fourth-place finish in Super League and the Challenge Cup final in 2023.

He’s been a stand-out player this season, as the side look to fight for the League Leaders’ Shield.

England have plenty of good loose-forwards, but Victor Radley and Morgan Smithies were unable to play as they’re in NRL, while Morgan Knowles is injured currently.

This is a huge opportunity for Minchella.

Brad O’Neill

Brad O'Neill Wigan England

Credit: Imago Images

This is just another spectacular moment in the short career of the young Wigan Warriors hooker, who’s had to wait for significantly less time than Minchella for his first call.

He had already made his debut in 2021, and then spent time out on loan with Widnes Vikings.

At just 21, he’s already won everything there is to win, with two Challenge Cup victories, a League Leaders’ shield, a Grand Final win and the World Cup Challenge crown.

Now, he’s got the nod ahead of Daryl Clark and Danny Walker, two of the best hookers in the league, and will now be fighting for a starting spot with Jez Litten.

Oliver Wilson

Oliver Wilson Huddersfield England

Credit: Imago Images

Yet another forward, Wilson is a prop for Huddersfield Giants, and is 24 years-old.

He started his career when Bradford Bulls were in the Championship, and helped them to a successful promotion campaign in his debut season.

Now with the Giants, he’s spent time on loan with Halifax Panthers and back at Bradford.

Wilson has made 83 appearances in Super League now, but has only been part of the starting 13 five times this season, making his inclusion one of the more puzzling ones.

Despite this, he’s got plenty of time ahead of him, which is surely why he’s been selected by Shaun Wane.

Sam Wood

Sam Wood Castleford England

Credit: Imago Images

There has been plenty of talk about the inclusion of a Castleford Tigers player after their season’s performances, but he’s surely their most deserving.

After being let go by Hull KR last year, he said: “I want to be at a club I can really make my own, put my imprint on the club and fight for that starting shirt, really become a part of that club.”

It’s fair to say he looks to be doing that so far, playing in every game for the Tigers this year and being one of their most impressive performers week after week.

Recently, he scored against his former club, assisted by another that was let go by the Robins in the off-season in Rowan Milnes.

Wood has been playing centre this year, but has previously played on the wing, in the halves and even at loose-forward and second-row.

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