“First time I’ve ever said that!” England boss makes man of the match call

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Shaun Wane England training SWpix Credit: Alamy
Shaun Wane England training SWpix Credit: Alamy

Newly-appointed England George Williams scored a hat-trick to scoop the man of the match award in their 64-0 rout of France in Warrington.

The Warrington half-back scored a hat-trick as well as providing four assists at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

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But his head coach, who he has a great relationship with, disagreed with the man of the match call, saying he would have given it to one of his wingers.

Wane, a no-nonsense front-rower during his playing days, heaped praise on his debutant wingers Matty Ashton and Ash Handley after the game.

Wane said with a smile: “He (George) was good. I don’t think he deserved man of the match, he’s won enough!

“I thought one of the wingers deserved it, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever said that in my life! I thought Matty was great.

“But with George this week, how he has spoken, how he has developed in to being the man and leader he is… I’m quite shocked sometimes because I had him when he was a kid and was a mute and wouldn’t speak. It is great to see him develop in to a real good pro.”

Shaun Wane hails debutant wingers

Leeds’ Handley and Warrington’s Ashton both made their England debuts, and earned plenty of praise from Wane after the game.

When asked about hat-trick hero Handley, Wane replied: “I thought him and Matty Ashton were really good.

“Matty Ashton took some carries out of our own end in the early part of the game when it was quite physical. Both of our wingers were outstanding.

“I was chuffed with Ash, the way he spoke in meetings, he is a real good leader. Leeds have a good player there with Ash Handley and I’ve been really impressed with him. He was outstanding today, both wingers were.”

Others who impressed the boss

Wane said he was really happy with his side’s professional display against France, and he was asked about a number of individuals in his post-match press conference.

On Wigan trio Jake Wardle, Toby King and Harry Smith, Wane said: “Jake is a good player. I thought him and Toby both went well in the centres, they carried the ball well but I think they can both improve, no question. They can both get better on things.

“I think Harry can do a lot better, I think he did some really good things but I know Harry and what he is capable of. He can do more, no question. I thought it was a good debut.

On Hull KR coach Jez Litten, Wane said: “I thought Jez was great. I was really happy with what our bench did.

“One thing you need with the bench is the lift and we certainly got that with our bench. Tyler (Dupree) was good, he ran hard, Jimmy Harrison was good, he was a handful. I’ve been really impressed.

“I thought our bench gave us a lift when they came on. I’ve been really impressed with their behaviour this week with how they’ve trained. They’ve been early for every meeting, they’ve been respectful around the hotel.

“I’m really happy. There’s certain things to work on but they delivered what we’ve practiced this week. It was outstanding.

“I’m a very proud Englishmen and to debut 13 young kids – it’s a credit to Super League clubs, chairmen, CEOs and heads of youth who are giving these lads a chance and we are seeing the benefits of that today.”

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