Shaun Wane has named his first England (7/1 – Rugby League World Cup 2021 Outright) training squad of 2022 as they prepare for the Rugby League World Cup on home soil later this year.
The competition was initially scheduled to take place between October and November in 2021. However, the decision was taken to move it forward a year after Australia (2/7 – Rugby League World Cup 2021 Outright) and New Zealand (6/1) withdrew due to the impact of Covid-19.
Wane has eight months to settle on his final squad for the tournament and he will get the opportunity to run the rule over 30 players currently in contention during a training camp at Headingley in Leeds later this month.
England’s leading try-scorer Ryan Hall, who boasts 38 caps, is back in the ranks after becoming a regular under Tony Smith at Hull KR following his return from the NRL with Sydney Roosters.
There are also seven uncapped players in the 30-strong squad, including St Helens’ Lewis Dodd, Matty Lees and Jack Welsby.
Wigan duo Kai Pearce-Paul and Liam Marshall will also have the opportunity to catch Wane’s eye in West Yorkshire, while Leeds’ Harry Newman and Huddersfield’s Jake Wardle complete the set of uncapped players named.
This month’s camp at Headingley, which gets underway on March 15, will be the first in a series of monthly sessions for Wane to work with the players throughout 2022.
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Wane said: “It’s a massive year for us, a great opportunity that we must be well prepared for.
“We’ve looked at a number of things in putting this training squad together – form last year, performances in the All Stars and France games, pre-season training and discussions around up and coming young players.
“The players included for this first session need to look like England players and train like England players. We want something extra from them at this level.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of players and the ones not included at this stage know that they can still force their way in. It’s an open book and I see some of them coming back in later in the year.”
John Bateman, Liam Farrell, Zak Hardaker, Liam Marshall, Kai Pearce-Paul (Wigan Warriors); Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves); Thomas Davies, Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons); Lewis Dodd, Morgan Knowles, Matthew Lees, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, Alex Walmsley, Jack Welsby (St Helens); Niall Evalds, Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers); Ryan Hall (Hull KR); Kruise Leeming, Harry Newman, Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos); Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity); Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Wardle (Huddersfield Giants); Dan Sarginson (Salford Red Devils).
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