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Honor James

England hungry for the Exiles challenge

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England coach Steve McNamara has welcomed the appointment of Brian McClennan as Exiles coach and believes his presence will guarantee the kind of fixture his own team needed.

McClennan was yesterday confirmed as coach of the Exiles – a team drawn from the best overseas players in Super League – for the International Origin Game at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, on Friday June 14 (8.00pm). The appointment sees McClennan reprise the role he held in the first ever International Origin Game in 2011, when the Exiles won a thrilling match 16-12.

“Brian’s track record with Leeds, New Zealand and the Exiles speaks for itself, he’s a coach who always brings out the best in players and any team coached by him is going to be very difficult to beat,” said McNamara. “That’s just the kind of challenge we’re looking for from the International Origin Game, especially in a World Cup year.

“It’s an important fixture for England, and not just because of the part it plays in our World Cup preparations: it’s very much a match we’re going out to win. It became clear during the ETS (Elite Training Squad) camp we held at RAF Cranwell last week that the match against the Exiles is a massive focus for all the players. The World Cup is our major target but that doesn’t take place until the end of the year: the players are all fired up for International Origin, it’s a game they want to be involved in, a game they want to win, and a game they want to perform well in.

“We did OK two years ago when we played the Exiles but the defeat hurt: Brian McClennan and his Exiles team can expect an altogether more focused England team this time around.”

Exiles media

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Exiles as a concept is going down hill and will not get better as less quality players than the already ordinary players move to England to fill the Exiles team.

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Exiles as a concept is going down hill and will not get better as less quality players than the already ordinary players move to England to fill the Exiles team.

Typical negative comment.

When England have beaten the Exiles in a series, maybe then can we start worrying about the Exiles not being strong enough!

Lets not forget that England's top players are heading over to Aus as well so it'll stay competitive.

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Typical negative comment.

When England have beaten the Exiles in a series, maybe then can we start worrying about the Exiles not being strong enough!

Lets not forget that England's top players are heading over to Aus as well so it'll stay competitive.

The fact that the England based players can not beat the"Exiles" detracts from the International game and strengthens the belief for those that even know there is an Exiles team that England can perform at the top level.

Do you think playing NRL Journeymen or fringe players makes a good game?

How many of England's "top"players are in the NRL? is it 2 or 3 players?

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It makes a better game than tonking France or Wales

Maybe, but that reflects on the failure to build the game in France and Wales more than anything else.

11,000 average attendances dropping each game badly to under 8,000 does not seem like a winning formula from a distance.

Is that the same as the Aussies putting SOO on a pedestal rather than "tonking" England at test matches?

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Then who should we be playing mid-season to give our national team practice?

I'm not particularly wild about the Exiles concept, but we haven't got a whole lot of alternatives.

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Then who should we be playing mid-season to give our national team practice?

I'm not particularly wild about the Exiles concept, but we haven't got a whole lot of alternatives.

Has anyone looked at why France does so badly?

They seem to get worse each year, second last in the last World Cup, surely questions need to be asked.

There choice of Coaches says plenty about how they are run.

France should be a bigger version of Australia's New Zealand with lots of young up and coming French players spread around the English clubs.

It looks more like the Isle of Man.

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