England have confirmed they will take on the Combined Nations All Stars as part of their preparations for this year’s delayed Rugby League World Cup, which takes place from from October 15 to November 19.
Shaun Wane’s (pictured) men are 7/1 to win the World Cup on home soil, behind 6/1 New Zealand and 2/7 favourites Australia, and England will be ramping up their preparations with a fixture on the weekend of June 17-19.
England defeated The All Stars when the sides met at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium last June, running out 26-24 winners in a game which they wore a jersey to raise funds for former Hull KR and St Helens prop Mose Masoe after his career was ended by a spinal injury in 2020.
This year’s contest, which takes place in the mid-season international break, will see England’s opponents sport special jerseys to help raise funds for those impacted by the devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami in Tonga earlier this month.
Carl Hall, the long-serving Doncaster chief executive and former RFL vice-president, will remain as team manager for the All Stars and he is delighted at the money being raised to help those in Tonga.
“This is a great gesture,” said Hall. “Tonga has become such a force in rugby league in recent years with their incredible run to the semi-finals of the last World Cup in 2017 and there have been so many great players of Tongan descent who have come over to play with English or French clubs.
“We’ve all seen the terrible and frightening scenes since the volcanic explosion, with some players anxiously awaiting news of their relatives.
“I know a lot of rugby league clubs and supporters will want to find a way of showing their solidarity with the Tongan people over the coming days, weeks and months.”
England, who will be hosting the tournament for a record-extending sixth time, lost the 2017 final 6-0 to Australia and will be hoping to go one better in front of a raucous home crowd.