England steeled for Exiles challenge

Date published: Thursday, June 6, 2013

England coach Steve McNamara has expressed his admiration at the calibre of the squad named by Exiles coach Brian McClennan for the International Origin Match at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, on Friday June 14 (8.00).

McClennan has named a 19-man squad which features 12 Australians, four Samoans, one Kiwi, a Tongan and a Cook Islander, all of whom are drawn from Super League clubs.

“It’s a very impressive squad but that’s what we expected given the calibre of overseas players in Super League,” said McNamara.

“There are some very good players who haven’t made the 19, which underlines how tough a proposition the Exiles are going to be.

“That’s just the way we want it: we know we are going to have to perform at our best to get the win and from a spectator’s point of view it makes for a great contest because you always need unpredictability of outcome.”

England and the Exiles shared the spoils in last season’s two-match series and the host nation still owe their rivals one after losing a McClennan-coached Exiles team in the inaugural fixture of 2011.

Brian got the best out of the Exiles that year in a very tight game which was decided in the last 30 seconds and both teams will need to focus for the 80 minutes this time around,” said McNamara.

“They Exiles have their own style of playing, they’re very physical and at the same time play a good brand of football. It’s clear that their players have a lot of pride in their involvement with the team and Brian will tap into that.

“We have developed our own style, too, and we’re looking forward to this match immensely. The England players have been talking about the fixture for the last few months and it was clear from the conversations we had in camp last month that there is a real desire not just to be involved but to win.

“It’s very much an important game in its own right: winning or losing isn’t the be all and end all but we are aiming to be as best prepared as we can be.”

England’s 20-man squad will convene at their base at Loughborough University on Sunday evening to begin a five-day intensive camp which, like the International Origin Match, represents a key element of their preparations for Rugby League World Cup 2013.

Tickets for the 2013 International Origin Game, England v Exiles at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, are now on sale from the RFL Ticket OIffice on 0844 856 1113 and online at rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk Tickets can also be purchased from the The Halliwell Jones Stadium Ticket Office.

England squad (professional club and community club in brackets):

Rob Burrow (Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions)
Josh Charnley (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Rangi Chase (Castleford Tigers, Dannervirke Tigers)
Eorl Crabtree (Huddersfield Giants, Huddersfield YMCA)
Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield Giants, Newsome Panthers)
Gareth Ellis (Hull FC, Lock Lane)
Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Brett Ferres (Huddersfield Giants, Smawthorne Panthers)
Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)
Zak Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions)
Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves, New Spring Lions)
Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley)
Adrian Morley (Warrington Wolves, Eccles)
Lee Mossop (Wigan Warriors, Hensingham)
Richie Myler (Warrington Wolves, Halton West Bank)
Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
James Roby (St Helens, Blackbrook)
Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos, Waterhead, captain)
Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves, Normanton)

Exiles 19-man squad (Super League club and nation in brackets):

Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers, Australia)
Chris Bailey (London Broncos, Australia)
Brett Delaney (Leeds Rhinos, Australia)
Michael Dobson (Hull Kingston Rovers, Australia)
Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings, Australia)
Harrison Hansen (Wigan Warriors, Samoa)
Brett Hodgson (Warrington Wolves, Australia, captain)
Lance Hohaia (St Helens, New Zealand)
Kylie Leuluai (Leeds Rhinos, Samoa)
Steve Menzies (Catalans Dragons, Australia)
Joel Monaghan (Warrington Wolves, Australia)
Michael Monaghan (Warrington Wolves, Australia)
Joel Moon (Leeds Rhinos, Australia)
Mickey Paea (Hull Kingston Rovers, Tonga)
Tony Puletua (St Helens, Samoa)
Pat Richards (Wigan Warriors, Ireland)
Iosia Soliola (St Helens, Samoa)
Zeb Taia (Catalan Dragons, Cook Islands)
Trent Waterhouse (Warrington Wolves, Australia).