Shaun Wane makes changes to his England squad

Ex-Warriors Josh Charnley, Scott Taylor and Jack Hughes are among seven players dropped from the England squad.
Josh CharnleyJosh Charnley
Josh Charnley

Leeds winger Ash Handley and Warrington centre Toby King have been called into Shaun Wane’s panel.

Although all squad sessions have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic – which also wiped out the Ashes Series that should have kicked off last Saturday – Wane has kept in regular touch with the squad he selected for an initial get-together in March.

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Handley, Super League’s leading tryscorer, and King, a former Ireland international, have been rewarded for their form since the resumption of the Super League season in August by forcing their way into Wane’s plans for next year’s World Cup.

But Chris Hill, an England regular for the last eight years, has been stood down, along with his Warrington team-mates Charnley and Hughes, Hull forwards Josh Jones and Taylor, Wakefield centre Reece Lyne and Castleford prop Liam Watts.

“I’ve always said I would pick players on form and I think it’s important to show that,” said Wane.

“We’ve seen some fantastic rugby since the season restarted in August and I thought last Friday’s game between St Helens and Wigan was the best yet. Some other players have fallen below the standard of performance I need from my England players so again, it’s right that they have been told that as things stand, I don’t regard them as part of the group.

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“But they know the door isn’t closed – it’s up to them how they respond.”

King, 24, made his debut for Ireland in 2017 but represented England Knights in Papua New Guinea in 2018 and against Jamaica last year and in March was included in the Knights performance squad.

The updated Super League-based England squad is: D Clark, M Cooper, B Currie, J Philbin, S Ratchford, T King (all Warrington), N Evalds, D Sarginson, K Watkins (all Salford), L Farrell, O Gildart, Z Hardaker, D Manfredi, J Bateman (all Wigan), L Gale, H Newman, A Handley (all Leeds), J Griffin (Hull FC), T Johnstone (Wakefield), J Lomax, T Makinson, M Percival, J Roby, A Walmsley, M Knowles (all St Helens), P McShane (Castleford), J McGillvary (Huddersfield), S Tomkins (Catalans Dragons). NRL players: L Thompson (Canterbury), H Farnworth (Brisbane), G Williams, E Whitehead, J Hodgson, R Sutton (Canberra), T Burgess (South Sydney).