St Helens boss Paul Wellens highlights “ridiculous” aspect of international rugby league

ST HELENS head coach Paul Wellens believes that the fact that England have not played Australia since the 2017 World Cup Final is “ridiculous.”

Much has been made of the international calendar – or lack of one – in recent years following the successful World Cup in 2022.

Ever since then, there has been a great deal of noise being generated in order to produce more meaningful international fixtures.

Of course, England took on France at the weekend at Toulouse Olympique’s Stade Ernest Wallon, but the fixture was watched in front of less than 5,000 fans with very limited broadcast coverage.

For Wellens, more needs to be done – and more big internationals need to be organised to improve international rugby league.

“England rugby league want internationals and big internationals. It’s something the International Rugby League Board needs to get a grip of and how we can move it forward,” Wellens said.

“Having been involved in the England set-up as a player and coach, I know the appetite for big international games.

“Obviously we had a Covid year but the very fact we haven’t faced Australia since the 2017 World Cup Final is quite frankly ridiculous.

“Proper British rugby league fans want to see those Ashes games, New Zealand internationals and fixtures against a strong Samoa at the end of the season.

“Prioritising international games at the right time in the calendar is the best way to go about it.”

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