Wane urges rugby league to be ‘smarter’ and admits he’s fearful of more postponements impacting England plans

Shaun Wane has admitted that he is concerned any more postponements or chaos to the domestic season due to Covid-19 could have a huge impact on his plans to help England win the World Cup: and has called on the game to be ‘obsessed’ with ensuring it does everything right in regards to the virus.

With games postponed last weekend due to a number of Hull players testing positive, there is a growing feeling that the domestic season is already hanging by a thread, with minimal room for rescheduling between now and the projected end date of late-November.

And Wane, who has already lost the chance to take charge of an Ashes series later this year, conceded: “There’s no dressing it up. I’m fearful of more postponements because I want to give us the best chance of winning the World Cup.

“We need to make sure that we’re the shining light of all sports, and we behave the best. I know the majority of players in Super League will all be trying, we just need to try harder.”

Wane also said he wants the game to make sure it leads the way, adding: “I was concerned and a bit angry (when news of the Hull tests emerged). At the end of the day, this game is really important to me like it is with the Hull players. We just need to make sure that we’re all really supportive and smart in how we go about our business and we protect our game.

“The ramifications of having even more problems is really bad. There’s no question about that. I’ve loved these last few weeks, watching two or three games a day, and I don’t want it to stop. While all the players are already being smart, we need to be smarter and obsessed with making sure we do the right things.”

Wane was speaking on the day that St Helens’ Morgan Knowles and Brisbane back Herbie Farnworth were added to the elite training squad – and the England coach admitted that Farnworth, who has become a breakout star in a struggling Broncos side, has a real shot of being involved at next year’s World Cup.

He said: “Herbie is young and will have time to develop into one of the leading candidates for World Cup selection. They’re doing it tough at Brisbane, everyone is there. I wouldn’t say he’s stood out but he’s doing a few good things which I like to see. He’s warranted his selection in the top squad. I’d need to see more from him but the glimpses I’ve seen are very encouraging. His size and athleticism are very impressive and I can see him pushing very hard for a centre spot next year.”