Wane’s warning on Williams’ Test prospects

George Williams celebrates his stunning solo try at St Helens
George Williams celebrates his stunning solo try at St Helens

SHAUN Wane has warned against rushing George Williams into the international set-up.

It’s understood the Wigan stand-off was among the ‘long list’ of England players who met last night for a video conference call with coach Steve McNamara.

In-form John Bateman was also thought to be among the group.

NRL-based McNamara must trim his squad to 23 players for the three-Test series against New Zealand at the end of the season.

Williams’ fast-maturing performances have clearly not gone unnoticed by the England coach, who has a shortage of quality halfbacks to choose from.

“I think being on the edge, and being in the environment, would be a great experience for George,” said Wane.

“But whether he’s ready for Test rugby, personally I think he needs a rest.

“He’s had a big year and been very good for us, but we forget how young he is, and he’s had a lot of pressure on his shoulders.”

With Gareth Widdop set to take one halfback role, McNamara may move No.1 Sam Tomkins to the other spot – to accommodate Zak Hardaker. Matty Smith and Castleford’s Luke Gale are also in the mix.

Wane spoke to McNamara last week to give his thoughts on several of his Wigan stars.

After taking time to settle into the role, Williams has impressed many with his commanding displays in the second part of this season. He scored a stunning try in Friday’s 18-14 loss at St Helens.

And the 20-year-old admits representing his country will be his main goal for 2016.

“Making England wasn’t my focus for this year, just getting established and finding my feet at Wigan was the target,” said Williams recently.

“However, if I was asked to go up there to experience what it’s like with England I’d be up for that – 100 per cent.

“That would be massive for me. However, getting into the England team is really a target for next year.”