John Bateman injury scare as Shaun Wane suffers losing start with England

John Bateman will undergo a scan today on an ankle injury suffered in England's 26-24 defeat against the Combined Nations All Stars.
John Bateman was injured playing for EnglandJohn Bateman was injured playing for England
John Bateman was injured playing for England

Shaun Wane was able to draw on the positives despite his first game as England coach ending on a losing note in Warrington.

Wigan forward Bateman was on crutches after the match and Wane said: "He rolled his ankle.

"He's tough so for him to come off, it's quite serious."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Wane was forced to wait 16 months to take charge of his first match and to compound his misery, among the All Stars try scorers was winger Jermaine McGillvary, who was dropped by the new coach from his final squad for this match.

Catalans Dragons winger Tom Davies and St Helens forward Morgan Knowles, who has switched his allegiance from Wales, both scored tries on their England debuts after Wigan second rower Liam Farrell had given his side the dream start with two early tries.

"I am the worst loser in the world but I thought we showed a lot of toughness, especially with the adversity of losing those players," said Wane.

"We never gave up but we were a little dumb at times. If we had been smarter at the right places on the field, we would have won the game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I'm just a bit gutted for players that they didn't get anything out of it.

"The All Stars were a big, athletic team, I knew we would be up against it."

The All Stars, whose coach Tim Sheens estimated he lost between 30 and 40 players in the build-up for various reasons, were also hit by injury during the game.

The most serious appears to be Hull full-back Jake Connor, who still hopes to force his way into Wane's World Cup squad after being left out of his training group.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"His knee subluxed and he got a kick in the jaw early in the game," Sheens said. "I'll apologise to (Hull coach) Brett Hodgson if I send him back in pieces.

"The doctor thought it was broken but he went back out for the second half. He wanted to finish the match but we took him off because we didn't want to do it any further damage."

Sheens reckons Connor, McGillvary and co-captain Jackson Hastings all improved their World Cup prospects with England.

"I think they performed well," he said. "Jackson led the side well and Jermaine was as powerful as always. He certainly showed there is plenty of kick left in him."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sheens, who guided Australia to victory in the 2013 World Cup final, says England will be a stronger force come the end of the season.

"Losing Lomax and Walmsley took a big chunk out of them," he said. "It would have been a much more potent side with them in it. I think the best English side is yet to come."

A final decision on whether to press ahead with the tournament or postpone it until 2022 is expected to be made next week and Wane is keeping his fingers crossed.

"I'm really hoping it will be on, I'm sure it will," he said. "Things are getting better so we'll crack on with our preparation."