Face a weakened Australia side? Not likely, says Shaun Wane
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.
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.
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.”
A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:
Thank you for reading this story on our website.
But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.
Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.
As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."
But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.
We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.
HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.