Leeds Rhinos star warned discipline must improve for England shot: ‘I will not entertain that’

Josh McAllister
Harry Newman, Shaun Wane. England

England boss Shaun Wane says Leeds Rhinos centre Harry Newman must improve his discipline to be in with a chance to feature against Tonga on the international stage later this year.

The two sides will clash at an end-of-year test series confirmed in St Helens, Huddersfield and Leeds, with the latter hosting a double header alongside England Women against Wales at Headingley Stadium.

Newman, 23, was included in Wane’s 40-man provisional squad earlier in April but did not feature in the mid-season international against France at the Halliwell Jones Stadium due to injury, with Toby King and Jake Wardle named in the centres.

Injuries have hampered Newman’s career to date, including a double leg break in 2020, with 48 appearances across the last four seasons, including just seven last year due to multiple hamstring issues.

With 15 games this season, it marks the most in a year since 2019, although it still hasn’t been plain sailing for the outside-back. He suffered a fresh hamstring blow at the end of May, which ruled him out for two months, returning in August against Warrington Wolves.

On the field, Newman has the talent to be one of the best centres in the competition. But discipline has somewhat overshadowed his ability, with Wane admitting he wouldn’t pick him right now if he had to confirm his 24-man England squad.

But the 58-year-old former Wigan boss acknowledges the centre’s flair, with more competition against the likes of St Helens’ Mark Percival and Brisbane Broncos star Herbie Farnworth for the end of year showdown.

Shaun Wane: He needs to improve and get better at that

“If it was now… probably not,” Wane told media at a press conference at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Tuesday.

“He needs to improve and get better at that.

“I will not entertain that. He’s a real talent, Harry, and it’s something he needs to improve on, but as a talent and a player he’s one of the best.

“But it’s something he needs to get out of his game.

“I’ve not spoke to him directly, he was at the meeting last night and it was a general chat about what you need to do to get picked in the 24.

“I’m sure he’ll be having plenty of chats with Rohan [Smith].”

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