Fast, skilful and big: How the Combined Nations All Stars can test England

11 Jun 22, 7:49AM 0 Comments

Written by John Davidson

Photo by RFL

England has its World Cup warm-up next weekend against the Combined Nations All Stars next weekend.

It will give Shaun Wane another chance to see how his men cope in game situations. Last year the All Stars managed to edge England in a tight encounter at Warrington.

This time Wane will be hoping for a lot more from his players. Ellery Hanley is coaching the All Stars in 2022, and there is a number of players from last year’s squad, including Jackson Hastings and Jake Connor, unavailable this time round.

Still, this rep side should be able to field some quality talent. At fullback Hanley could go for either Jai Field or Lachlan Coote. Field is in-form, is fast and a huge attacking threat, while Coote has the experience and class on his side.

On the wings, Salford’s Ken Sio is having another great season, while Bevan French can create something out of nothing. There is also the likes of Frenchman Fouad Yaha who is in excellent form.

At centres, Hull KR’s Shaun Kenny-Dowall should be a lock, along with Huddersfield’s Ricky Leutele. Both are experienced, strong defenders and good ball-carriers. Samisoni Langi and Peter Mata’utia are other options to be considered.

In the halves, Mitchell Pearce should be one of the first players picked. He is having an impressive debut season in Super League, and knows how to manage a team.

Alongside him, Hull FC playmaker Josh Reybolds is an option, as is Tui Lolohea. Though playing mostly at fullback this year, Lolohea has been catching the eye at the Giants and ranks highly on the Man of Steel board. Salford’s Brodie Croft is another decent candidate.

In the middle, Patrick Mago has been doing the business for Wigan, while Hull FC’s Chris Satae offers huge impact. There is also the reliable presence of Matt Prior from Leeds, and Satae’s Hull teammate Ligi Sao.

At hooker, Hanley shouldn’t be going past Danny Levi and Matt Parcell. Levi has been impressive for Huddersfield this season, while Parcell has had his moments at Hull KR.

There is lots of competition in the second-row, but Sione Mata’utia has been tearing up trees at St Helens and likewise Chris McQueen has at Huddersfield. Kenny Edwards from Castleford could do a job, while Red Devils back-rower Elijiah Taylor would not let Hanley down.

At lock, Luke Yates is a powerhouse and Leeds’ Rhyse Martin is also a hard-worker. Martin can kick goals, while Yates will tackle anything that moves.

On the bench, Hanley may want players who can provide an impact and lift his side. Wakefield’s Kelepi Tanginoa has a big engine and can do just that, while Hull FC’s Joe Lovadua can cover a few different positions. The likes of Konrad Hurrell can bring utility value in the centres and back-row, as can Langi, though the size of Dragons prop Sam Kasiano or Leeds’ Zane Tetevano would be handy.

Nearly all of these players have played rep footy before with New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, France, Scotland, Papua New Guinea or State of Origin with NSW or Queensland.

Potential Combined Nations All Stars squad:

1 Jai Field
2 Ken Sio
3 Ricky Leutele
4 Shaun Kenny-Dowall
5 Bevan French
6 Tui Lolohea
7 Mitchell Pearce
8 Matt Prior
9 Danny Levi
10 Chris Satae
11 Chris McQueen
12 Sione Matautia
13 Luke Yates

14 Matt Parcell
15 Kelepi Tanginoa
16 Patrick Mago
17 Elijiah Taylor

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