World Cup tune-up a good marker for England – Shaun Wane

ENGLAND coach Shaun Wane says his side have shown they can be a force at next year’s World Cup – if they learn how to maintain the ruthless start they showed against France.

By Dave Craven
Sunday, 24th October 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th October 2021, 3:56 pm

He secured his first victory as national boss when England won 30-10 in Perpignan.

On the day they were supposed to face Samoa in the opening fixture of the 2021 World Cup – before the tournament was delayed for 12 months – they did all the damage when racing into a 20-0 lead after just 18 minutes.

However, they were scrappy thereafter and Wane described the performance as “okay.”

John Bateman (C) of England and Mark Kheirallah of France (Picture: Will Palmer/

“After 20 minutes we’d conceded no penalties and not made an error,” said the Wiganer, in charge for only his second game since taking over from Wayne Bennett in February 2020.

“We were outstanding. It’s very hard to keep that going. Considering everything that the lads have been through – we’ve only had three field sessions as a team together, a tough travel through the night – I’d have taken 30-10 on the plane on the way over.

“We did a lot of good things but we’ll also get a lot from the video of that game as we prepare for the World Cup.”

At one point it looked like it could have been another one-sided defeat for France who have traditionally struggled against England.

England celebrate the try of Liam Farrell against France (Picture: Will Palmer/

“It did – and I was sort of glad it wasn’t,” offered Wane.

“It ended up being a Test match in the end. The ruck was slow. It would have suited us being a bit quicker.

“We didn’t manage that really well. We could have done things to alleviate that. But overall I thought France had a dig.

“They did some good things. They were a threat at times. But after that first quarter, in the second quarter we made eight or nine errors and penalties which tells you if we are composed and our detail is good then we’ll be hard to beat.”

With perhaps as few as two more warm-ups games before the World Cup next autumn, Wane hopes he can get as much time as possible with his players in 2022 as they step up their preparations.

He said: “The players have responded really well today. They did some really good things so it tells me the more contact they get the better the Super League will get their players back so it benefits everybody.”

Meanwhile, England captain Emily Rudge marked her record-breaking 24th appearance for her country with two tries in a powerful 40-4 win for the women’s side against France in the first part of a double-header at Stade Gilbert Brutus.