SHAUN Wane reckons England can now boast wingers to compete with the best of the world after try-scoring machine Josh Charnley was elevated to the elite training squad.
Charnley scored 27 tries in his breakthrough season last year and has started this season in scorching fashion, crossing nine times in just five games.
He has been rewarded with a place in Steve McNamara’s 32-man senior squad and Wane reckons his inclusion, alongside Hull FC flyer Tom Briscoe and Leeds’ highly-rated Ryan Hall, bodes well for England over the next few years.
Wane said: “The wing has been an area where England haven’t been as strong in recent years.
“But if you look at the squad now, there are three athletic wingers who all have great skill, and they’re very early into their careers.
“You look at the what the Aussies have got and what the Kiwis have got, and we are up there, no doubt.”
Charnley is one of six Warriors included in the squad and Wane says his selection is well-deserved.
He said: “I’m really pleased for Josh, it’s a credit to him.
“He’s from Chorley which is not a strong rugby league area, and he is a great example to any youngster because he has worked extremely hard to get to where he has.”
Charnley extended his lead at the top of the Super League try-scoring charts with a double against Catalan last Sunday.
His second was a real poacher’s effort as he chased Sam Tomkins’ kick and pounced when Thomas Bosc and Clint Greenshields failed to deal with it.
Wane added: “That wasn’t luck – a lot of other wingers wouldn’t have scored that try, they would have held back and let the ball go into touch. It was a great effort by him to push forward.”
Gareth Hock, Lee Mossop, Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Tomkins and Mike McIlorum are also in McNamara’s squad, which will meet for five camps during the year.
Hock last played on the Test stage in June 2009 when England defeated France 66-12 , before his two-year doping ban.
England will face the Exiles – Super League’s best overseas players – in two matches mid-season and France and Wales in an end-of-season triangular tournament. Liam Farrell is included in the second-string Knights squad.