Shaun Wane confident Leeds Rhinos' Ash Handley will get more chances with England after unfortunate debut

ASH HANDLEY endured a disappointing debut for England but head coach Shaun Wane is certain the Leeds Rhinos man will get more opportunities to make his mark on the international stage.

By Ben McKenna
Saturday, 26th June 2021, 6:00 am
INJURY BLOW: Ash Handley was forced off with a head knock during his England debut. Picture: Allan McKenzie\
INJURY BLOW: Ash Handley was forced off with a head knock during his England debut. Picture: Allan McKenzie\

The 25-year-old came off the bench in the first half to earn his first cap as England lost 26-24 to the Combined Nations All Stars in Warrington.

However, he was taken off before the interval and failed a head injury assessment, meaning he was unable to return to the field and he will miss Leeds' next two Super League games, against Salford Red Devils on Sunday and Leigh Centurions on Thursday night.

Wane confirmed no long-lasting effects of the injury, telling reporters after the game: "He is good. He got a head clash and had to come off for a HIA.

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"I am gutted for him but I am sure he will get another chance some time soon."

Bradford-born forward John Bateman was also forced off in the first half as he limped from the field after injuring his ankle.

Wane added: "He has rolled his ankle, we will have more idea on the detail this morning.

"He is a tough guy so for him to come off is quite serious."

The defeat against the Combined Nations was Wane's first game in charge of England, as the Covid-19 pandemic saw him wait over a year for the opening fixture of his tenure as head coach.

The All Stars side showed plenty of grit in a hard-fought and entertaining game and despite the defeat, Wane believes he and his players can take plenty from it.

He added: "There are loads of positives. We had a bit of adversity with John and Ash but overall we played tough. I thought we could have played smarter, if we had played smarter we could have won the game.

"They were the better team but we will learn a lot from that, no question. I want to win every single thing I am involved with but I told the players we will get a lot out of it.

"There were opportunities we had that we didn't take, the big games are in October and we will be better because of that game.

"We showed a lot of toughness. We never gave up and we were just a little dumb at times, that is all. To still be in there at the end was a great effort."

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