England Rugby League Prepares for World Cup with Key Fixtures Ahead

Rugby League World Cup Fixtures Highlighted as England Prepare for International Duties

As the Super League season reaches its midpoint, attention is turning to the upcoming international fixtures for the England rugby league team. With a packed schedule over the next two years, the national side is preparing for a crucial period that could lead to success on the global stage.

England will begin their international campaign with a mid-season clash against France on June 29th, a match that will celebrate the 90th anniversary of rugby league in the country. This encounter provides a valuable opportunity for the team to fine-tune their preparations for the 2026 Rugby League World Cup, which is expected to take place in Australia.

Speaking to the Sportsman YouTube channel, England head coach Shaun Wane has identified three players he expects to make a significant impact for the national side. Wane highlighted the importance of incorporating young talents like Harry Newman, Mikey Lewis, and Harry Smith, as he aims to build a team that can thrive in the years to come.

“I do feel it’s the start of the next phase for England,” Wane said. “When I finish in a few years’ time, I’m going to leave it in a really good spot. Getting these young players started will be crucial as they take England forward for the next few years.”

Wane took over the England job in 2020 and led the team to the semi-finals of the 2022 Rugby League World Cup. However, a heartbreaking 27-26 defeat against Samoa ended their campaign in agonizing fashion. The coach is now focused on using the upcoming fixtures, including a two-match series against Samoa, to prepare for the Ashes in 2025 and the subsequent World Cup the following year.

“We’ve got an Ashes next year and then a World Cup, and I’m having to build on that as well,” Wane explained. “If I think a player’s not going to be in my thoughts for the World Cup, then it’s going to be hard for me to deal with them this year. So it’s really important that we have our eyes wide open and understand that we need to be strong in a few years’ time.”

With the Super League season well underway and the international calendar set to heat up, the coming months will be crucial for England’s rugby league aspirations. Wane’s emphasis on developing young talent and preparing for the future suggests a clear roadmap for the national team as they aim to achieve success on the global stage.

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