Australia coach Mal Meninga wants to play some midweek games on their tour of England next year, so we have looked at six potential opponents for the Kangaroos.
The Australian boss – who played for St Helens between 1984-85 – has held talks with England coach Wayne Bennett about bringing his side to St Helens for a midweek game in the middle of a three-match Test tour next year.
Official details have yet to be confirmed though and Bennett hinted that the Kangaroos could play a couple of midweek games between their Test matches against England on the weekends in the autumn of 2020.
Here are six potential opponents for Australia on their 2020 tour:
Fans of the sport seem to be very divided on the thought of county teams returning to the game. The last Lancashire-Yorkshire match took place in 2003 due to apathy from supporters.
However, a Lancashire side would certainly give the Kangaroos a run for their money. There would no England representatives in the Red Rose side, obviously, but that would give an opportunity to the likes of Danny Richardson, Stefan Ratchford, Joe Burgess and Mike Cooper a chance to impress Bennett.
Paul Anderson’s Knights are expected to play on home soil this year and have been reported to face Jamaica, but official details have yet to be announced.
The Knights enjoyed a successful tour to Papua New Guinea last year, with the squad being brought back intro fruition after a five-year hiatus. With the likes of Jack Walker, Tom Lineham, Matty Lees, Robbie Mulhern and Kruise Leeming in the squad – they would certainly prove a challenge for the Kangaroos.
The Yorkshire team are technically still the current holders of the War of the Roses title! The White Rose won the last battle in 2003 at Odsal, Bradford.
A Yorkshire outfit would be strong, even without their respective England internationals who would be playing on the weekend. They would have a strong pack in the likes of Liam Watts, Oliver Holmes, Liam Sutcliffe and Dean Hadley.
The Reggae Warriors are looking to play international matches as the build-up to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup gets underway.
Jamaica are expected to face England Knights this year and how good would an international against Australia be for the Caribbean island?
The Reggae Warriors have a top quality team too, and could be a real surprise package at the World Cup with names such as Ben Jones-Bishop, Ashton Golding and James Woodburn-Hall in their ranks.
Both Lancashire and Yorkshire have played a number of matches against touring Australian and New Zealand teams in the past, but from he 1967-68 Kangaroos tour, the Red Rose and the White Rose were taken off Australia’s itineray with the only county side they played being Cumbria!
Some people don’t realise how good of a team Cumbria could have if they took part in the Kangaroos tour. Ryan Shaw, Kyle Amor, Shaun Lunt, Brad Singleton, Morgan Knowles and and James Donaldson would no doubt don the Cumbrian jersey.
Les Chanticleers gained qualification for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup last year after claiming the 2018 European Championship title, having brushed aside Wales, Ireland and Scotland.
France need to play more international games against tier one nations for them to improve because their squad is full of Super League talent. They don’t play England as much these days but they would gain good experience from facing the Kangaroos.
France could count of Tony Gigot, Benjamin Jullien, Theo Fages, Romain Navarrete, Morgan Escare and Mark Kheirallah to give Australia a tough test.