Rugby League World Cup: Shaun Wane looks ahead to 'special' quarter-final tie at the DW Stadium
and live on Freeview channel 276
His England side take on Papua New Guinea in the quarter-finals of the Rugby League World Cup on Saturday afternoon (K.O. 2.30pm).
As he prepares for the match in his hometown, Wane hopes his own journey can prove to be an inspiration to others.
He said: “This is special for me. I’m living the dream.
“I got the call, which I never thought would come, asking me to coach my country.
“To be in a World Cup, coaching at a ground in the town where I live, is unbelievably exciting for me. I can’t wait.
“I’m loving every day I spend with these players and I don’t want it to end, I want it to carry on.
“I could never have imagined doing this when I was younger, because I was doing really bad things.
“I’m really honoured and a proud Englishman and I can’t wait for Saturday.“It’s been made better because I’m working with 24 really talented players and a good bunch of staff.
“I’ll be spending a fortune on tickets.
“It’s going to be a packed house with a fantastic atmosphere.”
Wane says expecting a tough test on Saturday, but believes the side he’ll name will be strong enough to claim a place in the semi-finals.
“I know my team and it’s strong,” he added.
“We’re up against a good Papua New Guinea team, but we’ll be having a good dig.
“It’s not been an easy few days because I’m leaving people out who never get left out.
“We’re all friends and it’s a really close group.
“Those conversations aren’t easy but we’ve got to win and I’ve got to pick the team that I feel can get the job done.
“There’ll be a couple of changes to the Samoa game (at St James’ Park), but not many because that was a good team.
“This is going to be full on. It’s sudden death and we’ve got to perform.”