England boss Shaun Wane explains Jake Wardle omission ahead of test series against Tonga
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The 24-year-old Wigan Warriors centre has enjoyed his finest season to date, lifting both the League Leaders’ Shield and the Super League trophy in just his first 12 months at the DW Stadium after joining from Huddersfield – as well as winning the prestigious man of the match award in the 10-2 triumph over Catalans at Old Trafford.
England head coach Wane confirmed his squad to face Tonga in a three-game series on Tuesday morning, admitting that the 24-players were not submitted until the early hours of the morning, with medical discussions around individuals involving England’s chief medical officer.
Having made a try-scoring test debut in last year’s 94-4 World Cup win against Greece at Bramall Lane, Kai Pearce-Paul also misses out and will now focus on his move to the NRL with Newcastle Knights ahead of 2024 alongside Will Pryce.
Liam Farrell returns to the international scene, with team-mates Harry Smith, Tyler Dupree and Toby King also named.
“The squad wasn’t submitted until around 4am. It’s been pretty hectic since the Grand Final and the semis the week before,” Wane admitted at a media event at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
“It’s been full on but the clubs have been great with the way they’ve dealt with us, they’ve been very open and transparent.”
The ex-Wigan boss continued: “Jake Wardle and Kai Pearce-Paul miss out through respective injuries.
“But I’m happy with the 24 players that I’ve got and I’m looking forward to getting them in camp together tomorrow.”