Exclusive: Josh Charnley not closing door on England as in-form winger praises Leigh coach for ‘bringing the best out of players’ 

Josh McAllister
Josh Charnley lifts Challenge Cup trophy

Josh Charnley lifts the Challenge Cup trophy at Wembley. Photo by Steve Flynn/News Images.

In-form Leigh Leopards winger Josh Charnley says he hasn’t shut the door on a potential England recall ahead of the end of year series against Tonga.

Chorley-born Charnley, 32, last featured on the international stage in 2014 during the Four Nations, with eight caps and nine tries to date.

He made his senior debut against Wales in the 2012 Autumn International Series, scoring four tries on his first appearance in an 80-12 thrashing over Wales.

Having departed Warrington midway through the 2022 campaign and coming close to leaving the sport altogether, Charnley has found a new lease of life and is currently one of the best-performing wingers in Super League.

The three-time Grand Final winner has crossed for 22 tries so far in 2023, the second-most in the competition behind Catalans star Tom Johnstone (24).

Charnley was most recently a part of the Challenge Cup winning Leigh side under Adrian Lam, and was previously backed by his head coach for an England recall ahead of the mid-season test with France.

He was however a notable omission from Shaun Wane’s squad back in April, but Charnley hasn’t closed the door on a potential return to the international scene, although admits his main focus is on completing the season on a high with the Leopards.

England face Tonga later this year in an end-of-season series, with three fixtures heading to St Helens, Huddersfield and Leeds at the end of October through to November.

Josh Charnley leaves door open to England recall 

Speaking exclusively to Love Rugby League, Charnley said on a potential England return: “Possibly, but I’m just focussing on being me and doing well for this team.


“I’m always there if he [Shaun Wane] wants me to play, I’ll play.

“I’m happy with what I’m doing here at Leigh and focussing on the pitch.

“There’s a lot of good wingers in the competition at the minute and we’ll soon find out.”

Charnley was followed by Warrington team-mates Matt Davis, Oliver Holmes, Jack Hughes, Robbie Mulhern and Jacob Gannon in making the short move to the Leigh Sports Village for 2023, with the side enjoying a stellar campaign back in the top flight.

Ireland international Mulhern, 28, is enjoying his best form to date, while Oliver Holmes recently opened up on his exit from the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Star Charnley dedicated his current form to Papua New Guinea-born coach Lam, who guided Leigh to their first Challenge Cup victory since 1971 with a Wembley win over Hull KR.

“He’s bringing the best out of players,” Charnley said on boss Lam.

“You can see with the way we’re going, it’s unreal. He’s a good bloke and he’s getting the best out of his team.

“It’s a good set of lads and our friendships on and off the pitch are showing here.”

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