Shaun Wane on why big-name stars have been left out of England training squad

Shaun Wane has told big-name stars like Jake Connor and Gareth Widdop that they must perform well more consistently in order to break into his England team.

A 30-man training squad, England’s first of the year, has been announced by Wane with notable young talents earning maiden call-ups, including St Helens’ Jack Welsby and Lewis Dodd, plus Wigan Warriors’ Kai Pearce-Paul.

However, there were also some very notable absentees, including spine stars Widdop, of Warrington Wolves, and Hull FC pair Connor and Luke Gale.

“The door’s never shut,” said Wane. “I need to see that consistent desire to win, that consistent skill level, those things that make you look like an England player. 

“I will make changes throughout the year, it will be fluid so the players in the 30-man squad should not feel comfortable. 

“As easy as you can come in the squad, you can come out of out. It’s about having high standards throughout the year.

“They need to play very, very well for their club teams. I watched all the individual England players play yesterday and if they are consistently good, they have a chance of being in. 

“That’s what Jack Welsby has done, that’s what Lewis Dodd has done in their games so far.

“It’s very hard to get into my squad and my team. But the players know where they stand and what they need to do.”

Wane name checked Warrington prop Joe Philbin and Hull FC centre Josh Griffin as players who were particularly unfortunate to miss out but remain in the front of his mind.

He stressed that Gale’s absence had nothing to do with his current suspension, and spoke at length about the case of Connor and why he is not involved.

“I’ve spoken to Jake with great honesty and detail on what I want to see,” Wane said. “If I see that, he’ll come into the England team. 

“He’s a great talent, no doubt about that, but I want to see certain things. I’ve been very honest with Jake and told him clearly what I want. 

“I can see him possibly playing against the All Stars in June if he does what I need him to do. 

“He was great last week (against Salford), no question about that, but I want him to be great every week. 

“I want him to be great against St Helens, when he’s really under the pump, and he’s got the capabilities to do that.”