England head coach Shaun Wane has confirmed his 24-player squad for the upcoming three-match test series against Tonga.
It will be the first time a Pacific Island nation has travelled over to England to take part in an international test series, and it’ll be the first time Tonga have played England since their unforgettable World Cup semi-final in 2017.
Wane has named five NRL players who also featured in last year’s World Cup – Dom Young, John Bateman, Tom Burgess, Victor Radley and Elliott Whitehead.
Man of Steel nominee Tom Johnstone, who has enjoyed a stunning debut season with the Dragons, will look to add to his solitary England cap this autumn. His Catalans team-mate Mike McMeeken also returns to the England fold after the Dragons’ Grand Final appearance last weekend.
Wigan’s Grand Final-winning captain Liam Farrell returns to the squad for the first time since 2021, alongside his Warriors team-mates Tyler Dupree, Toby King and Harry Smith.
Challenge Cup winner Robbie Mulhern could make his first England appearance since 2018 following an impressive season with Leigh Leopards. Mulhern represented his Irish heritage in last year’s World Cup.
Wane has selected four St Helens players, including Man of Steel nominee Jack Welsby. His team-mates Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees and and Tommy Makinson have also been selected having played at last year’s World Cup.
Chris Hill, Harry Newman and Mikey Lewis represent Huddersfield Giants, Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR respectively.
England captain George Williams is one of five Warrington Wolves players selected by Wane. His appeal against his two-match ban takes place in front of a disciplinary tribunal this evening (Tuesday, October 17).
England say several players are unavailable for selection due to injury, including Brisbane Broncos centre Herbie Farnworth.
The official press release from England read: “In recent weeks all the Super League and NRL clubs have been helpful and supportive around the availability of their players for international duty, and where necessary there have been detailed and confidential discussions around individual players involving England’s chief medical officer.
“In those instances where players have been withdrawn from the selection pool, there has been strong medical evidence to support those decisions.”
England squad for Tonga test series
Matty Ashton (Warrington Wolves)
John Bateman (Wests Tigers)
Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves)
Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves)
Tyler Dupree (Wigan Warriors)
Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors)
Chris Hill (Huddersfield Giants)
Tom Johnstone (Catalans Dragons)
Toby King (Wigan Warriors)
Morgan Knowles (St Helens)
Matty Lees (St Helens)
Mikey Lewis (Hull KR)
Tommy Makinson (St Helens)
Mike McMeeken (Catalans Dragons)
Robbie Mulhern (Leigh Leopards)
Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos)
Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters)
Harry Smith (Wigan Warriors)
Danny Walker (Warrington Wolves)
Jack Welsby (St Helens)
Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders)
George Williams (Warrington Wolves)
Dom Young (Newcastle Knights)
Shaun Wane: We’ve got a real strong mix of experience and youth
Following the squad announcement, Wane said: “I’m really pleased with the 24 players coming into camp as we look to beat Tonga in this three-game series.
“All of the players included have impressed me throughout their respective Super League and NRL campaigns and are worthy of representing their country in this historic series.
“We’ve got a real strong mix of experience and youth combining players who featured in last year’s World Cup, this year’s mid-season international and some who are returning to the international frame.
“My message to the fans now is: come out and get behind this team in St Helens, Huddersfield and Leeds in the coming weeks!”
England take on Tonga in St Helens, Huddersfield and Leeds, with the first test taking place at The Totally Wicked Stadium this Sunday, October 22.