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England boss Shaun Wane calls for action to boost northern RL nations

SHAUN Wane has called on rugby league’s bosses to help make sure England are not left apart from the world’s powerhouses.

Next month’s Test opponents Tonga and World Cup finalists Samoa lead the rise of new nations to challenge the traditional trio including Australia and New Zealand.

The rise of Pacific nations like next month’s opponents Tonga has sparked a call to boost northern hemisphere nations

But while they, along with Fiji and Papua New Guinea, have competition on their doorstep, England must either travel or get countries to trek 10,000 miles to get the standard of opposition needed.

France were whacked 64-0 in April as a mid-season international which will be repeated got started. Wales, Scotland and Ireland are also well behind while Italy are made up almost exclusively of ex-pats.

And England boss Wane wants action to bring up the level of local competition, meaning more regular exposure to the required standard.

He said: “Absolutely there’s work to do.

“I’d love to have Test series against France, Wales and Scotland but we’re a long way off that.

“We need to address it. We need to find a way and get participation up. We can’t go along wondering what would happen, we need to make things happen.

“To have a calendar with some strong opposition over here would be vital to us but it’s not that way yet.

“Having local competition would be fantastic.”

Wane is in a rare position as an England coach, knowing how his side will be playing for several years.

Wane wants more locally-based competition from nations

Tonga this year will be followed by Samoa next, then an Ashes tour to Australia, the World Cup and tours by the Kangaroos and New Zealand.

And just being able to plan is enough for him as he added: “It’s massive. When I first heard about the international calendar, it was really, really important to me.”

September 17, 2023 at 11:30AM

from The Sun

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