Throwback Thursday: Looking back at the Exiles games against England

Drew Darbyshire

There seems to be an appetite for bringing the Exiles back in the near future, so we have decided to take a look back at the concept.

The Exiles were a representative rugby league that played in an Origin-like series against England between 2011-13.

In 2011, then England coach Steve McNamara proposed a plan to introduce an “other nationalities” concept in the hope of providing England with a more challenging opposition during the club season.

The Exiles test replaced England’s annual mid-season international against France.

It was a 23-man squad that was selected from the overseas players in the Super League competition. A maximum of two players per club were selected by public vote from rugby league fans and then coach Brian McLennan.


2011 – England 12-16 Exiles – Emerald Headingley Stadium, Leeds (14,174)

2012 – England 18-10 Exiles – Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens (11,083)

2012 – England 20-32 Exiles – John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield (7,865)

2013 – England 30-10 Exiles – Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington (7,926)

2013 squads

England: S Tomkins; Charnley, Cudjoe, Hardaker, Hall; Sinfield, Myler; Mossop, Roby, Hill, Farrell, Ellis, Jones-Buchanan. Subs: Chase, Crabtree, Westwood, Ferres.

Exiles: Hodgson; Monaghan, Menzies, Moon, Richards; Burns, Dobson; K Leuluai, L’Estrange, Puletua, Soliola, Waterhouse, Hansen. Subs: Hohaia, Paea, Taia, C Bailey.

A possible Exiles return for 2020 was squashed at a recent Rugby Football League media briefing. RFL chief executive said the concept would not be coming back for next season at least.