Tonga “more than likely” to have end of year test series in England

Drew Darbyshire
Konrad Hurrell Tonga News Images

Photo: Craig Thomas/News Images

England coach Shaun Wane says their proposed end of year test series against Tonga is not confirmed yet, but will ‘more than likely’ happen.

The Ruby Football League are believed to be in advanced talks to bring Kristian Woolf’s side to England this autumn.

Wane’s side, who lost to Samoa in the semi-finals of last year’s World Cup, will face France in a mid-season test to prepare for a test series against Tonga at the end of the year.

Wane said: “As far as I’m aware it is not set in stone done yet, but it more than likely will be happening at the end of the season and I’m looking forward to it.”

Potential Tonga test series

The RFL are confident that England will host Tonga in a three-match series at the end of the year and Wane insists he isn’t frustrated by the delay over the confirmation.

He said: “I’m not frustrated about it. I’m happy I’ve got the job. I’m happy that I’m going around speaking to players and coaches.

“When it’s announced then I will crack on. I’m not one for dwelling on things I’m not in control of.

“It’s very complicated between the talks and the Tongan people and it’s not straightforward and I understand that, so when I get told it’s on I’m planning to make England ready for the 2025 World Cup and this is part of it.”

World Cup preparations

Wane is looking forward to his side hopefully playing regular internationals ahead of the 2025 World Cup in France.

He added: “The size of the teams and the athletic look of the teams that are going to challenge us in 2025… If you look at Samoa and Tonga, they are bigger than us and that’s how I’m judging the players now.

“Can they handle Samoa in the semi-final of a World Cup in France? I don’t look at Mikey Lewis playing against a Salford, a Wigan or a Saints, I’m thinking how will he go against Samoa in a semi-final when the pressure is on getting beat by one point and that’s the same for every player for what I’m looking at.”

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