England head coach Shaun Wane described George Williams as ‘one of the best in the world’ after his captain’s return to international action in today’s final test against Tonga.
Williams was forced to sit out the first two tests, both won by England, serving a suspension he picked up on club duty for Warrington Wolves as they were knocked out of the Super League play-offs by St Helens.
Wane hasn’t made any secret of the fact that his skipper would return for this final test regardless of how impressive his replacements were – or weren’t – in the meantime.
As it turned out, both Wigan Warriors star Harry Smith and Hull KR’s Mikey Lewis shone bright. The latter was the one to lose his space today for Williams, with Smith scooping the Player of the Series award.
England boss Shaun Wane hails George Williams: ‘One of the best in the world’
Having seen his side pick up a 26-4 win and accordingly an autumn test series whitewash, Wane hailed the returning Williams, who picked up a 17th England cap at Headingley.
Discussing his options in the halves, the boss said: “He (Smith) is going really, really well, but Mikey Lewis is too and Lewis Dodd is a good player. We’re in really, really good shape.
“George is up there as one of the best in the world. Once he gets a few games under his belt, he’ll kick on. I’m really, really happy with what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.
“George is a good player, a very good player. He can do more than he did today, but he’s not played for a few weeks. He did some good things and he’s given us a bit of zip in training too.
“He can do better, George, there’s no question of that, but he’s one of the best in the game. When he gets some games under his belt, he’ll be better, and he will get some more next year.”