Bring back the Exiles – how they could look in 2019

James Gordon

The calibre of overseas signings heading to Super League next season should provide ammunition for the return of the Exiles concept.

With England struggling to find meaningful competition in the Northern Hemisphere, which has resulted in the scrapping of the mid-season international window, it is time to revisit the International Origin concept which was prematurely shelved back in 2013.

It was launched in 2011 with a 14,174 crowd at Headingley watching the Exiles defeat England 16-12.

The series grew to two tests in 2012, with each side winning one apiece, at St Helens and Huddersfield, before the final edition in 2013, a routine 30-10 win for England at Warrington in front of just under 8,000 fans.

Clearly something needs to be done to provide England with more fixtures, and with Super League now taking greater ownership of its assets, perhaps they may realise the value of creating a new brand with their players – almost similar to the Barbarians concept in rugby union.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a 17-man squad for the Exiles – restricting ourselves to a maximum of two players from any Super League club.

1. Lachlan Coote (St Helens)

2. Akuila Uate (Huddersfield)

3. Bill Tupou (Wakefield)

4. Konrad Hurrell (Leeds)

5. Ken Sio (Salford)

6. Blake Austin (Warrington)

7. Jackson Hastings (Salford)

8. Junior Moors (Castleford)

9. Thomas Leuluai (Wigan)

10. David Fifita (Wakefield)

11. Kenny Edwards (Catalans)

12. Joseph Paulo (St Helens)

13. Trent Merrin (Leeds)

14. Sam Moa (Catalans)

15. Jese Sene-Lefao (Castleford)

16. Ben Murdoch-Masila (Warrington)

17. Kane Linnett (Hull KR)

It was a tough task putting that together, and there are plenty of players sidelined due to our club restriction and also because of the quality available.

The toughest part was selecting two of the three stars from Leeds and St Helens, meaning no place for Tui Lolohea and Kevin Naiqama.

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Who would make your line-up?