England to be without St Helens star and NRL ace for remainder of Tonga test series; Squad cut to 22

Ben Olawumi
Morgan Knowles, Dom Young, England

England will be without Morgan Knowles and Dom Young for the remainder of this autumn’s Tonga test series, seeing Shaun Wane’s squad cut down to 22 for the next two weeks.

St Helens ace Knowles picked up a thumb injury in the first test, which saw Wane’s side run out 22-18 winners thanks to Tom Johnstone’s second half brace of tries.

After seeing a specialist, the forward has been ruled out of both the clashes at the John Smith’s Stadium this Saturday (October 28) and Headingley seven days later (November 4).

Game one winner Johnstone returned to international action for the first time in five years in St Helens, and took his place in the starting 13 in place of Newcastle Knights ace Young.

Wane confirmed post-match that 22-year-old winger was ‘doubtful’ to play any part in the series having been hospitalised with an infection, and that’s proven the case.

The Dewsbury-born Newcastle Knights had an abscess drained last week, and still remains in hospital now, so won’t be playing any part at all in the series.

England duo Morgan Knowles and Dom Young ruled out for remainder of Tonga test series

In the statement published on the RFL’s website this evening which confirmed the pair’s departures from the squad, head coach Wane was focused on the task at hand with praise for those still in camp.

He said: “Despite losing two players, I am still extremely confident that the squad I have selected is strong enough to win this series against Tonga.

“Tom Johnstone and Tommy Makinson both impressed me at the weekend and we have another terrific winger in Matty Ashton who is pushing to force his way into the side.

“We’ve also got a number of forwards who can slot into the team in Morgan’s absence – Tyler Dupree, Robbie Mulhern and Liam Farrell all didn’t feature this past weekend and could come in.”