Since Wigan Warriors were crowned Super League Champions against Catalans Dragons, the focus has been on Shaun Wane and his England squad with Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves and St Helens stars named alongside members from the Champions.
But one problem for Shaun Wane has been selecting a skipper. This is because of the suspension of stand-off and England skipper George Williams.
The stand-off was appointed as Sam Tomkins’ replacement in 2023 but he picked up a one match ban for a shoulder charge against St Helens in the Super League play-offs.
Williams appealed the ban but this appeal was deemed frivolous and was punished with an added game suspension meaning he would miss the opening test against Tonga at the Totally Wicked Stadium as well as the second game against Huddersfield Giants.
Naturally, Williams appealed the ban a second time but was denied. No ban was added this time as these types of challenges cannot be punished.
Either way, this meant the England captain would miss the two first games of his first big series as England skipper.
This has meant Shaun Wane had to name a new skipper and appointed St Helens star Jack Welsby in a major shock given Welsby is the youngest ever England captain despite the fact Wigan skipper Liam Farrell is in the squad as is John Bateman who captained England in 2021.
This was of course a decision that divided opinion. One fan said: “Great leader and character to have in the team. Very humble lad who has shown he can lead a winning side. Easy choice.”
Meanwhile, a Wigan supporter had a different opinion:
“Great young player, but wouldn’t be my choice. He is under enough pressure to perform well without the added burden of captaincy.”
Others felt it was a great decision:
“Great move by Wane, on a home ground appearance. Plenty experience around him, and the opportunity to stake a claim for the future.”
But others less so:
“I think this is the wrong decision. I don’t think he’s got enough experience under his belt to be captain of an England team. It would be Radley for me.”
One fan even asked: “Is that a joke?”