Dissecting Shaun Wane’s England selection headache & predicted line-up

Josh McAllister
England Shaun Wane

England boss Shaun Wane will have a selection dilemma ahead of his side’s quarter-final clash against Papua New Guinea at Wigan’s DW Stadium.

The 58-year-old has stated that he welcomes the headache, and is “close” to knowing his strongest 17.

One of the biggest talking points so far has been England’s options on the outside; with three wingers available for only two spots.

Ryan Hall took his World Cup try-scoring record tally to 14 in the 94-4 victory over Greece, making him the joint-second highest try-scorer in the tournament’s history alongside Jarryd Hayne.

The 34-year-old winger also scored twice against France. However, the Hull KR man is competing alongside superstar Dom Young and Grand Final winner Tommy Makinson for a spot on the wing.

Young, 21, has crossed for eight tries in the tournament so far, including four against Greece at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane. 31-year-old Makinson featured at full-back in the fixture, and has been a part of St Helens’ four-in-a-row winning Super League side.

You would predict Makinson and Young to start against the Kumuls, but Hall is a solid replacement who will be waiting to shine once more if selected again this campaign.

Marc Sneyd for England?

A try and 13 goals saw Marc Sneyd set an individual record for an England player at a World Cup with 30 points against Greece. However, will the Salford man earn a place over George Williams or Jack Welsby in the halves?

Warrington’s Williams and St Helens’ Welsby both started in the World Cup opener, both impressing in the 60-6 victory over Samoa.

Meanwhile, Mikolaj Oledzki looks to have played his only game of the tournament. The 24-year-old Leeds forward featured against France, but was not selected to face Greece.

The likes of Mike McMeeken, Mike Cooper and Andy Ackers will also all be fighting for a possible spot on the bench for the finals.

England coach Wane will speak to press on Wednesday afternoon, with his 19-man squad expected to be announced on Thursday.

England predicted line-up: Tomkins, Young, Farnworth, Watkins, Makinson, Welsby, Williams, Burgess, McIlorum, Hill, Whitehead, Bateman, Radley. Bench: Lees, Cooper, Thompson, Knowles.

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