Shaun Wane’s first words after England-Samoa series confirmed

Aaron Bower
Shaun Wane England Alamy

Shaun Wane after England's test series win over Tonga in 2023

Shaun Wane insists England are determined to exact revenge upon Samoa for their heartbreaking World Cup semi-final after a two-Test series between the nations was finally confirmed.

England will host the Samoans in Test matches at Wigan’s Brick Community Stadium and Leeds’ AMT Headingley on Sunday October 27 and Saturday November 2.

It will be their first meeting since Stephen Crichton’s dramatic drop goal sunk England in the semi-finals of the 2022 Rugby League World Cup at the Emirates Stadium, and the first time Samoa have toured England.

And Wane insisted that he is thrilled to get the series over the line – and is keen to set the record straight from two years ago.

“This is the positive news we’ve been waiting for,” he said. “We face a tough challenge in France this month and we’ll prepare for that in the knowledge that we’ll have another crack at Samoa at the end of the season. That’s three big games to give us a focus for the rest of the year.

“Everyone knows how devastated we were to lose that World Cup Semi Final. I know all the players will be as keen as me to take on Samoa again.

“And I think it will be the same with our supporters. They know Samoa will be a top team, with some of the best players in the NRL. But they also know we have an England team worthy of their support.”

Wane admitted he was delighted to be returning to stadia with happy memories for England; with Headingley the location of their victory against Tonga last year, and Wigan the venue where England dismantled Papua New Guinea in the quarter-finals of the last World Cup.

He said: “Beating Tonga 3-0 last year was fantastic and it’s great that we’re going back to Headingley where we completed that series. And personally, I’m very pleased that we’re playing the first game at Wigan. We’ve got great memories of our World Cup Quarter Final against Papua New Guinea, so let’s hope we can fill the ground again.”

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