John Terry ready to help England's Rugby League World Cup victory bid

SHAUN Wane will team up with a captain, leader, legend as England look to win rugby league’s World Cup – John Terry.

And he is in no doubt that Super League this year is stronger than ever, thanks to the likes of John Bateman coming back and Greg Inglis joining.

National boss Wane has been taking part in a sporting directorship course to fill his days while the 13-a-side code is out of action.

Now Aston Villa assistant boss Terry is also studying and he will be asked to tell England’s players what it takes to succeed at the highest level, as will golfer Lee Westwood.

Wane said: “I’ve had quite a few chats with John and he’s very knowledgeable. I did a chat for UEFA coaching badge attendees and he was one of them.

“All I talked about was standards and what we did at Wigan. He loved it and we’ve kept in touch. I learn from him and him from me.

“He’ll be going up to training. He's really keen, very smart and loves our way of thinking in rugby league.

“He’s got a real understanding about rugby league and he loves the game – and he's a very proud Englishman.

“Lee Westwood is another one and he’ll be getting involved with us.

“It's important for the players to get a perspective from another sport. Lee is very individual in terms of the sport he plays while John has played for England.

“I love speaking to people like that about how they train, what they do, what their thought process is and what their standards are.

“I'm assuming that our players will have a thirst for that too and if they don't, I want them to have an open mind about things like that.”

Wane has effectively been kicking his heels after the Covid-19 pandemic saw England’s Ashes series with Australia cancelled.

But as far as he is concerned, his side will be facing the Exiles, a team made up of Super League’s best ex-NRL players, on June 27 and hopes to face Fiji about 10 days before the World Cup’s opening game against Samoa on October 23.

And he believes the pool is getting stronger after Bateman returned to Wigan after a stellar NRL stint, while Super League dropping matches from its schedule would not be a bad thing.

He added: “John is going to be a great addition and Greg is obviously a fantastic player, it won’t take him long to get back into shape.

“But the competition is going to be stronger with John in, no question. We just need more great games of the intensity of Wigan-St Helens or Wigan-Warrington. I hope we’ll see that.”

England taking on the Exiles could see Wane’s men face the likes of Inglis, Israel Folau, James Maloney and Bevan French.

But he also hopes one-time Great Britain internationals Jackson Hastings and Blake Austin face the country they qualify for

He said: “Absolutely I would. I want that Exiles team to be as strong as possible and they’d be a lot stronger with Blake Austin in, no question.

“I want that game to be like a Test match.”

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