England player ratings: Centre pair show their class as Shaun Wane’s side go three wins from three against Tonga

Drew Darbyshire
Harry Newman England Alamy

Harry Newman celebrates his try for England - Alamy

England sealed a 3-0 series whitewash against Tonga following a 26-4 win in Leeds, with centre duo Harry Newman and Ben Currie impressing.

Shaun Wane’s side were 14-0 up at half-time thanks to first half tries from Warrington Wolves duo Currie and Matty Ashton.

England posted further tries in the second half through the retiring Elliott Whitehead and Newman, with Eliesa Katoa scoring a consolation for Kristian Woolf’s Tonga late on.

Our England player ratings

Jack Welsby – 7. Impressive in attack and defensively sound. The St Helens full-back very rarely has a bad display and his link up game is second to none.

Matty Ashton – 7. He lost the ball in big tackle by Keaon Koloamatangi in the first half but quickly made up for his error with a try in the corner. The Warrington flier worked hard out of back field.

Harry Newman – 8. Probably his best performance of the series in familiar territory at Headingley. He caused Tonga plenty of problems with his running threat and produced a sublime flick pass for Ashton’s try.

Ben Currie – 8. Eyebrows were raised when they saw his name in the centres on the teamsheet before the game – but he had a stormer. He showed great support play for his opening try on 12 minutes and had a hand in a couple more.

Tom Johnstone – 7. The Catalans winger has hd a phenomenal year and an impressive international series with England. His yardage carries were strong.

George Williams – 7. A decent return to the England fold for the captain after serving his two-match suspension. The Warrington playmaker guided his side’s attacking shape well and led by his actions.

Harry Smith – 8. Like Newman, it was probably Smith’s best performance yet in an England shirt. The Wigan star’s kicking game was first-class and he set Currie up nicely for the game’s first try.

Tom Burgess – 7. Burgess has been one of England’s best forwards in this test series against Tonga. His size and presence matches that of Tonga.

Daryl Clark – 7. Simple but effective. It was a trademark Clark performance, getting quick rucks and causing problems for the opposition defence.

Matty Lees – 7. The St Helens front-rower has been great for England in this series. He might not be the biggest front-rower in the world but he brings plenty of power to the pack.

John Bateman – 7. A typical Bateman display: hard-working, gritty and tough. He got through a lot of work defensively on the right side.

Elliott Whitehead – 8. Whitehead signs off his international career in style with a try, and with a big display in the back-row alongside his fellow Bradfordian Bateman.

Robbie Mulhern – 7. A steady performance from Mulhern, who is the first Leigh Leopards player to represent England in more than 40 years. It was a bit of a quieter display than what we’ve seem from him in a Leopards jersey this year – but he was solid nonetheless.


Danny Walker – 6. The Warrington hooker came enjoyed more minutes today than the other two games. He had plenty of Tongan traffic thrown his way but he dealt with it well.

Tyler Dupree – 6. Dupree won his second cap for England after making his international debut earlier this year. The Wigan Warriors prop didn’t play massive minutes but the experience will benefit him moving forwards.

Chris Hill – 5. The veteran prop was forced off the field just before half-time through injury after only being on the field for around 10 minutes.

Mike McMeeken – 8. McMeeken and Burgess have probably been England’s best forwards in this series. McMeeken has made a huge impact when coming on from the bench.

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