England boss Shaun Wane makes captaincy decision for second Tonga test

Ben Olawumi
Shaun Wane England Alamy

England head coach Shaun Wane in a press conference - Alamy

England head coach Shaun Wane has confirmed that Jack Welsby will remain as captain for next week’s second test against Tonga following an impressive performance in today’s series opener.

The 22-year-old became England’s youngest-ever captain in today’s 22-18 win in familiar territory at the Totally Wicked Stadium, standing in for George Williams with the official skipper suspended.

Williams remains banned for next week’s showdown with Kristian Woolf’s side at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield, and boss Wane confirmed in his post-match presser that the armband will remain with the St Helens star.

England boss Shaun Wane clears up captaincy confusion

When Welsby was announced as the stand-in on Friday morning ahead of today’s clash, it was only confirmed that would be the case for the test series opener.

But after a game which saw the Wigan-born ace at the heart of everything good England did in attack, setting up Tom Johnstone’s first try with a hugely impressive cut-out pass, Wane told Love Rugby League he wouldn’t be changing his skipper next Saturday.

The England chief said: “He’s killed it, he’s just nailed his captain’s speech after the game and I saw George Williams staring at him really upset, but he nailed it! He’s going to be a future captain, definitely.

“George is my captain, but Jack will captain next week while George finishes off his ban. It’s just really good practice for him.

“He speaks a lot in training, and he’s spoken in the changing rooms then. He led really well today. I’ll be gone from this job soon, in a few years time, and I’ll be leaving England with two really good, very capable captains to move forward.”

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