Exiles set to return

Talks to resurrect the Exiles are underway as part of England’s preparations for the World Cup.

League Express can reveal discussions have been held that would see Shaun Wane’s side take on the Exiles on the weekend of June 26-27, which would tie in with a full international schedule across both hemispheres.

New Zealand are set to take on Tonga that weekend, while State of Origin II will also be played that weekend.

In addition, Wales are expected to take on Jamaica as the two nations prepare for the World Cup in October.

The Exiles, a team consisting of Super League-based players from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, was first introduced in 2011 to give England a strong mid-season opponent. But the concept only remained for three years before being dropped after the 2013 season.

In their four games, the Exiles beat England twice, with their first victory coming in from of a crowd of 14,174 at Headingley.

England have yet to play under Shaun Wane, a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. They were due to take on Australia in a three-Test series this Autumn, though those plans were scrapped once the pandemic disrupted both the Super League and NRL campaigns.

England’s last competitive match came in 2018, when they lost to New Zealand 34-0 at Elland Road. England did win the series 2-1.

2019 saw the resurrection of the Great Britain Lions, though a disastrous Tour saw them lose all four of their games.

That saw Wayne Bennett depart as coach, having guided England to the World Cup Final in 2017, a game they lost 6-0 to Australia.

Wane is now in charge and looks set to get his first match in June.

Talks are set to continue and the fixture will need the approval of clubs, who will supply both teams with players for the fixture.

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