Warrington boss Steve Price “very surprised” by Gareth Widdop’s England absence

Warrington coach Steve Price feels for Gareth Widdop and Blake Austin after the pair were absent from Shaun Wane’s first England squad.

Widdop, who joined the Wolves as a marquee player this year, has been an ever-present in the England team since making his international debut under Steve McNamara in 2010.

But the Halifax-born player has been left out of a list of 31 players chosen by new national coach Wane as they prepare for the end-of-season Ashes series.

Price said: “I was very surprised. I’m not sure what the coach is thinking there.

“Gareth has been really consistent when he’s played for his country and he’s represented his country with a lot of honour I feel.

“It’s a question you’d have to ask Shaun.

“I’ve spoken to Shaun briefly, but more about the players he was picking.”

Austin was born and raised in Australia but qualifies to play for England due to having an English grandmother. He played for Great Britain last year.

Price added: “With the limited opportunities he got last year, I think he’s another one who put the team and the country first.

“He went out there and had to play out of position.

“I’m not quite sure what Shaun and his coaching staff feel, that’s for them to answer.

“But I do feel for those two boys – although I’m ecstatic for the other boys that have been invited to that squad.”

Wane has also left out another Australia-born half-back Jackson Hastings, who like Austin qualifies through an English grandparent and pledged his future to his adopted country.

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  1. Grandmother smandmother! Widdop should have been picked but the other two are aussies and shouldn’t even be considered.

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