Head coach Shaun Wane says George Williams needs to get fixed up with a new club after he was left out of the England squad for the Combined Nations All-Stars clash (2021 World Cup outright – England 6/1).
The former Wigan Warriors half-back was named in the initial 24-man party for Friday’s game at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium, but fitness concerns mean he will no longer take part.
It has been a frustrating time for Williams since leaving Wigan for Canberra Raiders at the beginning of the 2020 season. He made 32 appearances for the NRL giants, before having his contract terminated in May on compassionate grounds.
The 26-year-old has not played now for a month and Wane has decided to look elsewhere with Leeds Rhinos’ Luke Gale, St Helens’ Jonny Lomax, and Warrington Wolves’ Stefan Ratchford the preferred options at half-back.
Wane, who gave Williams his Warriors debut in 2013 and managed him for five years after, says it is imperative he gets club to build up his form and fitness, with the World Cup looming in October.
“It is very important George Williams gets fixed up with a club and gets some games under his belt,” the 56-year-old said.
Warrington Wolves’ Toby King will also miss out due to injury while Salford Red Devils full-back Dan Sarginson incurred a three-match ban following his side’s win against Huddersfield Giants.
Giants duo Jermaine McGillvary and Jake Wardle have also been cut from the 19-man squad.
England are preparing to host the World Cup and will try and go one step better than four years ago.
They were beaten narrowly by Australia 6-0 (World Cup outright – 3/10 Australia).