England team to be picked on merit, as Wigan star knocking on door for international honours

Drew Darbyshire
Liam Marshall Wigan Warriors News Images

Photo: James Heaton/News Images

Wigan winger Liam Marshall has made an impressive start to 2023, and will no doubt be in Shaun Wane’s England thoughts if his rich vein of form continues.

The 26-year-old is currently joint top scorer in Super League, having scored eight tries in six appearances.

Marshall is near the top for metres made too, with an average gain of 11.25 metres per carry. He’s also made six clean breaks and 13 tackle busts in the first six rounds.

The Wigan-born speedster played for England against Fiji in a World Cup warm-up match last autumn, and has represented England Knights, but has yet to make his senior England debut.

When asked of Marshall’s chances of making his England debut against France in April, Wane replied: “He is playing really well.

“I had a chat with him last week. Marshy is a good player, I like him. He’s competitive and is playing well for Wigan.

“He, alongside many other wingers, we’ve got strength in depth and he is one who I’m considering”

“Hopefully you can see from the World Cup squad we picked that it was players in form. Regardless of what you think happened in that semi-final, those players were in-form.

“Chris Hill was a top three front-rower all year and I picked him and he did a great job. I think it’s important not to forget that.

“If you think back before the semi-final, I think everyone was really happy with how we were playing and hadn’t seen England play that well in a long time, so we did a lot of things right. I don’t mean me, I mean the players, the staff and the RFL, a lot of things went right in the World Cup. It was a really disappointing end, but we did some good things.”

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Liam Marshall & Co’s commitment to England

Sam Powell and Liam Marshall England SWpix Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Marshall was one of four players that played for England in last autumn’s 50-0 win over Fiji who didn’t make the cut for Wane’s World Cup squad. The others were Sam Powell, Harry Smith and Jake Wardle.

Wane praised for Marshall & Co for pledging their commitment to England even though they knew at that point they wouldn’t be part of his World Cup squad.

Wane added: “There were a lot of technicalities of game time, in terms of who could and couldn’t play.

“There were players playing in that game who knew they weren’t playing in the World Cup but they were willing to stay on and play for England in a game when they knew they weren’t going to be included in the World Cup squad. That tells you everything about the pride we have to play for our country.

“If you are playing well this year, I’m not bothered about how many tests you’ve played or how old you are, you’ll be in.”

Shaun Wane insists squad will be picked on merit

The England boss says he will work closely with England Knights coach Paul Anderson in the run up to the 2025 World Cup.

Wane said: “I’ve had a few meetings with Paul Anderson and Scully (Paul Sculthorpe) and I’ve been really clear in what I expect and what we want.

“I’ll be meeting all the Knights and our potential squad in the next few weeks. I’ll be really clear, there is no England top squad or Knights, if you are playing well throughout this year, then you’ll be in.”

England face France in a mid-season international in Warrington on Saturday, April 29.

The Rugby Football League are confident of hosting Tonga in a three-match test series on English soil at the end of the year.

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