Face a weakened Australia side? Not likely, says Shaun Wane

England coach Shaun WaneEngland coach Shaun Wane
England coach Shaun Wane | other
England coach Shaun Wane has hosed down suggestions the Ashes may go ahead against a weakened Australia team missing its State of Origin stars.

The series – scheduled to run on three successive weekends from October 31 – has been threatened by the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The NRL are aiming to get back up and running by the end of this month with their Grand Final now on Oct 24.

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And though the schedule has not been confirmed yet, it is understood the three-game Origin series could take place after their club title-decider.

If that scenario plays out, it would force the Ashes to be scrapped or postponed, with Wane cool on the idea of facing the Kangaroos missing their Queensland and New South Wales rep stars.

“I’m not sure they’d do that, it’s too important, it’s a Test jersey,” Wane told Talk Sport 2’s Rugby League Show.

“It’s a massive series. If it could go ahead after Origin, I’m not sure.

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I just hope it happens and they send their strongest squad and I can assure you we’ll be prepared.”

Former Wigan coach Wane is still operating as if the tournament is going ahead as scheduled and has been meeting players from his provision squad - via video technology.

“Until I get told any different from Ralph (Rimmer, RFL chief executive) then I’m going to crack on,” said Wane.

“I’ve been speaking to the players as if it’s on.

“My days are full, and the video technology is a great tool. “If I can speak to Danny Houghton, for example, and show him some clips, so he sees exactly what I’m seeing - it’s perfect.”

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