Anyone who has coached his side to three successful Super League Grand Final victories is worth sitting up and taking notice of. Throw in a decorated playing career, and the fact that this 57-yr-old Wigan-born gentleman now looks after his national team. Hello, good morning/evening, and welcome – to Mr Shaun David Wane.
Betfred’s Mark Pearson chatted to Shaun on the sponsor’s ‘Last Tackle’ show, and remarked that the last several months of Covid-dominated life has been difficult for the sport, and for Shaun’s early days establishing himself as England boss.
“Yes, but what we’re going through is nothing compared to what some people are going through. It is what it is, what’s happening, and we’re making the best of it. I’m an eternal optimist ”
At the helm since Feb 2020, Shaun continued “it’s been painful, it’s been tough, because I like to work, and coach, and I’ve not done that. When I took the job we had the Ashes potentially, then the World Cup, and none of that has happened.”
Mark – “so you’re not moaning and groaning – you want to crack on?” “100%.” Shaun was then asked about the upcoming spicy clash with the French on Oct 25th – a nation for whom the rugby landscape at present is looking very rosy indeed. “Toulouse and Catalans are flying – and Sam Tomkins is really killing it. I spend a lot of time over there; the fans are fanatical, and this game is going to be a real tough Test match.”
Squad should be named about 2 weeks ahead of the game, and form, fluidity, will be key. Perpignan is a real hotbed, and it won’t be a place for the faint of heart. Players not involved in the play-offs will have special programmes designed to keep them fit for what’s sure to be a very big challenge indeed.
Shaun also had a word about the wheelchair and women’s RL sides too, and there’s very obviously lots of liaison between the coaching staff, across all these England teams – something to be very proud of.
How about this for a rallying cry from the Warriors’ legend. “We’re too keen to look on the negative side. We have got the best sport in the world, and I mean in the world. There’s not a sport in the world where players are ripping into each other, with no errors, no penalties, yet we still look at jumping on things. We just need to be more positive about our game.”
Here’s the full chat. There’s stacks more to enjoy, with Warrington’s Andrew Henderson, play-off pointers galore, podcast input from the fans, the Dream Team, Championship and League One play-off news, telly coverage, Try of the Week – it’s all going on. Enjoy.