England to face Combined Nations All Stars team in summer
England will take on a Combined Nations All Stars team on Friday June 25, it has been confirmed.
In a change from the previous Exiles concept, the Combined Nations team will enable players from other countries, such as Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Jamaica to participate in the game, alongside their Antipodean colleagues.
It was decided to ditch the Exiles name and draw on the heritage of the “Other Nationalities” team which dates back to 1903, while acknowledging it needed a more modern twist.
Players who have represented the “Other Nationalities” team in the past include Welsh great Billy Boston and Australians Brian Bevan and Harry Bath.
All Stars was added to the Combined Nations name to draw similarities to the equivalent All Stars match held in Australia.
England played the Exiles four times from 2011 to 2013, including a two-match series in 2012.
Although the first two games attracted five-figure crowds, the last two recorded attendances of lower than 8,000 at Huddersfield and Warrington.
The “Other Nationalities” side last played England in 1955, the 16th meeting between the two.
The game, expected to be held at Headingley, will be Shaun Wane’s first game in charge of the national team, more than 12 months since his appointment as Wayne Bennett’s successor.
Meanwhile, the RFL have announced a new kit supplier deal with OXEN, formerly known as X-Blades.
They will produce all technical kit for the England Men, Women, Wheelchair and Physical Disability teams, as well as for RFL Match Officials.
A new range of training and replica shirt wear will be made available both online and in a central store in Leeds.
The five-year deal with OXEN replaces the previous deal with Danish manufacturer Hummel, who had signed a four-year deal back in 2018.