Shaun Wane set to be named England’s new rugby league coach ahead of World Cup

SHAUN Wane is set to be named as England’s new rugby league coach.

But he could have just four games to get them into shape for a tilt at next year’s World Cup on home soil.

Shaun Wane suffered an horrific injury in a mine aged 11
Shaun Wane is set to be named as England’s new coach

The former Wigan boss is believed to have got the nod over Wayne Bennett after the nightmare return of the Great Britain side.

Rugby Football League chiefs have conducted a full review into that and weighed up whether to give the legendary Australian a new deal until 2021, which he wanted.

However, SunSport understands Bennett will be replaced by Wane and an announcement is set to take place as soon as Monday.

Wane, who has been working as a high performance coach for Scottish Rugby Union, has been out of the sport he loves since 2018.

Not only is he English, having played twice for Great Britain in the mid-1980s, but he is regarded as the best at getting the most out of his players on a game day.

Wayne Bennett wanted to stay for the 2021 World Cup but is thought to be on his way out
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He guided his hometown team to three Super League titles, a Challenge Cup and the World Club Challenge in 2017.

England are set to return to the international picture this year after Great Britain’s terrible tour, which saw them lose to Tonga, New Zealand twice and, most embarrassingly, Papua New Guinea.

That, along with a failure to grasp the difference between the Lions – who were brought back after 12 years – and England, is thought to have done for Bennett.

Wane is believed to have put his name forward while Castleford’s Daryl Powell and Salford’s Ian Watson, an assistant on last year’s trip, were also in the frame.

However, the proposed mid-season Test, which Bennett got after campaigning so strongly, against Samoa on June 20 in Australia is up in the air.

The pair were drawn together in the same World Cup group, with Samoa – likely to include Sonny Bill Williams – kicking off the tournament against the hosts at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.

Wigan skipper Sean O'Loughlin, left, and head coach Shaun Wane celebrate Grand Final victory
Wane (right) left Wigan in a blaze of glory in 2018 by winning the Super League title
PA:Press Association

A match against France could be arranged, while three Tests against the world champion Aussies are set in stone – at Bolton on October 31, Leeds’ Elland Road on November 7 and Tottenham’s new stadium on November 14.

A mid-season Test for next year is also likely to happen.

Wane is likely to oversee a changing of the guard as several players, including skipper Sean O’Loughlin and prop James Graham, are likely to retire in the coming years.As well as Samoa at St James’ Park, the national side will play group games against Greece and France at Bolton and Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane.

The knockout stages could see them head to Anfield and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium before the final at Old Trafford.


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