England player ratings: Mikey Lewis gets top marks after impressive international debut in win over Tonga

Drew Darbyshire
Mikey Lewis, England

Mikey Lewis celebrates a try on his senior England debut against Tonga - Alamy

Hull KR star Mikey Lewis enjoyed an impressive international debut as he helped England beat Tonga in the opening match of their test series.

The Hull KR playmaker was handed his first England cap by head coach Shaun Wane, filling the void left by the suspended George Williams.

St Helens ace Jack Welsby became England’s youngest captain at the age of 22 after being handed the armband by Wane with usual skipper Williams out.

The game was level at 12-12 at half-time, with Toby King and Lewis scoring for England and Starford To’a and Tyson Frizell going over for the visitors.

A double from Tom Johnstone in the second half helped England go into a 22-12 lead, with Tonga’s Tolutau Koula scoring a consolation late on. Shaun Wane’s side wrapped up the first win of the series with a 22-18 scoreline in St Helens, with the second taking place in Huddersfield next week.

Our England player ratings

Jack Welsby – 8. A strong showing from the England skipper on familiar territory. He was at the heart of most things England did with the ball and solid in defence. He produced a lovely cut-out pass for Johnstone’s second.

Tommy Makinson – 7. A steady but solid display from the winger. Most joy England came down the opposite edge, but Makinson did well with his carries out of yardage.

Toby King – 7. King had some classy touches with the ball which got England on the front foot, and the Wigan centre took his try well.

Harry Newman – 7. The Leeds centre should be proud of his first international appearance for England’s senior side. It was a solid effort and you feel he will only get better with each and every international appearance he makes.

Tom Johnstone – 8. Johnstone won his first England cap since 2018 after a stellar debut season with Catalans. He took his tries very well and made a couple of breaks down the left side.

Mikey Lewis – 9. A remarkable display on his England debut from the Hull KR star. He made a couple of breaks in the first half and his attacking play was terrific. The 22-year-old made a quick burst that led to King’s try.

Harry Smith – 7. Whilst his half-back partner will get the headlines for a man of the match display, Smith can also be proud of his performance. His kicking game was on point and he came up with some smart choices with the ball.

Tom Burgess – 8. The South Sydney Rabbitohs prop led from the front from minute one. He matched Tonga’s physical presence in the middle.

Daryl Clark – 8. Clark made his first England appearance since 2018, and he didn’t disappoint. The Warrington hooker made some sharp darts from dummy half in the first half.

Matty Lees – 7. A hard-working display from the St Helens front-rower. Did the tough stuff as always and fronted up well against his Tongan counterparts.

John Bateman – 7. The Wests Tigers man got through a lot of work in defence. He also made a couple of strong carries.

Elliott Whitehead – 7. Much like his fellow Bradfordian Bateman, it was a hard-working performance. Nothing pretty, but the type of performances coaches appreciate.

Victor Radley – 7. Radley was in the middle of a few good attacking plays and a couple of his passes helped cut Tonga open.


Danny Walker – 7. The Warrington hooker came on for Clark with around 20 minutes remaining. He added a bit of zip from dummy half.

Morgan Knowles – 7. Knowles got through plenty when he came on for Radley. He helped match the physical presence against Kristian Woolf’s forward pack.

Chris Hill – 7. He had a number of powerful carries when he came on and seemed to be involved a lot in defence.

Mike McMeeken – 8. The Catalans forward was one of the standout forwards on the park. He seemed to get through a helluva lot of work in defence.

READ NEXT: England youngsters impress, Tonga’s history maker, strong turnout in St Helens – Five takeaways as Shaun Wane’s side edge out test series opener