England’s mid-season international is confirmed

SHAUN WANE’S first match as coach of England will be against a Combined Nations All Stars team on Friday, June 25.

Rather than resurrect the concept of the Exiles side, which ran from 2011-13, the RFL are giving a new twist to the old Other Nationalities team, which dates back to 1904.

The Combined Nations selectors will be able to invite any non-England players to take part, including those from the Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Jamaica sides.

The match, for which the venue is yet to be confirmed, will form an important part of former Wigan chief Wane’s preparations for this Autumn’s World Cup in England, although NRL-based players won’t take part.

The England women’s and wheelchair teams will also have matches that weekend.

Wane, 56, was appointed as England coach in February 2020 on a two-year deal which has since been extended to the end of 2022.

His assistants are including Wakefield’s Andy Last and St Helens’ Paul Wellens.

The pandemic put paid to any hopes of a mid-season international last year as well as a three-Test Ashes tour of England by Australia.

The timing of the June match has caused controversy because it is in the middle of a round of Super League matches.

The RFL have pledged a limit to the number if players any one club can lose.

But Hull chairman Adam Pearson has said the club won’t release players for the Combined Nations, just the England squad.

Pearson wanted the international to be played on Challenge Cup final weekend (July 17/18) when Super League has no games scheduled.