Tim Sheens has been appointed as the Head Coach of the Combined Nations All Stars team that will face England at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in June.
Sheens, whose last coaching role was at Widnes Vikings, will come to the job after having had one of the longest and most successful coaching careers in Rugby League history.
He won Australian Premierships with Canberra Raiders and Wests Tigers, and then spent six years as coach of the Australia national team from 2009-2015, which included regaining the World Cup in England in 2013.
More recently he has had spells in England with Salford Red Devils, Hull Kingston Rovers and the Vikings.
He will be assisted by Andrew Henderson, the former Scotland hooker, who is now on the coaching staff at Warrington Wolves after previous success as the head coach of London Broncos.
“As soon as I heard about the plans for this fixture, I thought it was an interesting coaching prospect,” said Sheens.
“The Exiles games that were played a decade or so ago showed the amount of overseas talent in the Super League, and by rebranding as Combined Nations All Stars it’s expanded the players available from other countries who will be involved in the World Cup.
“We’ll have about ten rounds of the Super League season for players to put themselves forward through their performances – and although we know one of the main aims of the fixture is to help Shaun Wane and his England team by providing an intense quality match as part of their World Cup preparations, I’m pretty confident that when we get the group together, we’ll also be determined to beat them.
“I’m looking forward to working with Andrew Henderson as my assistant coach. As well as his background with the Scotland team, who he was always so passionate about representing, Andrew will have the inside track on Super League with his role at Warrington.”
England will face the Combined Nations All Stars on Friday June 25 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington (8.15pm), in the second match in a double header which kicks off when England Women face Wales (6.00pm).
That will be followed on Saturday June 26 by a Wheelchair Rugby League International for the third England team preparing for this autumn’s Rugby League World Cup, against Wales at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield (kick-off TBC).
An initial allocation of 4,000 tickets is now on sale for the double header at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday June 25, with the hope that further areas of the stadium will become available as social distancing requirements ease.
The England Wheelchair fixture on Saturday June 26 has an initially limited allocation with more seats expected to be released nearer matchday.