England coach Shaun Wane admits the prospect of reviving the Exiles concept to help the national side prepare for next year’s World Cup is appealing – admitting it would provide England with a ‘great test’.
With this year’s Ashes series against Australia now officially cancelled, it leaves Wane facing up to the possibility of not being able to lead England for the first time at all this year.
However, when asked about how he envisages the plans for the World Cup taking shape, he hinted he would be open to facing a team selected from the best overseas talent Super League has to offer, which could include the likes of James Maloney and Sonny Bill Williams.
“If you look at the Exiles, you’d see the quality of players playing in Super League and that would be a great test without a shadow of a doubt,” he said.
I drew up an Exiles team in my garden the other day and it was a strong team, as good as any Test team. It would be a great game and great for the fans to watch a match of that standard – it would be superb. I know there’s a lot of things happening so it’s not certain, but if there’s a chance, Ralph (Rimmer) has been supportive of everything we’re trying to do.”
Wane did insist he was relaxed about England not playing many games in the run-up to the World Cup, but said: “I’d like to have a mid-season Test (in 2021) if possible. I’m in regular conversation with Ralph.
“Whatever this season looks like, if there is something we could put in at the end whether it’s a camp with the Knights, some sort of Test or anything, that would be great. Super League comes first, I understand that we need to get our games on.”