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Rugby League - International: England v Combined Nations All-Stars Preview

England are looking to build some momentum ahead of the World Cup when they face the Combined Nations All-Stars on Saturday.

The 2021 World Cup is just four months away and Shaun Wane is still getting to grips with his England squad.

Saturday's meeting against the Combined Nations All-Stars offers Wane the perfect chance to test out some new combinations.

Mixed start for Wane

What: England v Combined Nations All-Stars

Where: Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington

When: 17:45, Saturday 18th June 2022

How to watch: Sky Sports Arena

Odds: England 4/11, Combined Nations All-Stars 11/5

Wane was appointed as England head coach in 2020 but he's only had two games to try and put his stamp on the squad.

His first game ended in a 26-24 defeat to the Combined Nations All-Stars in June 2021, but they bounced back to record a 30-10 win over France four months later.

Saturday's fixture is just one of two warm-up games for England, who are priced at 6/1 to win the 2021 World Cup, with their opening outing of the tournament coming against Samoa at St James' Park on 15th October.

England take on Fiji a fortnight before the tournament gets going and Wane is hoping to try and correct their form on home soil.

The Wall of White have lost each of their last two outings at home, going down in last year's edition of this fixture off the back of being thrashed 34-0 against New Zealand, who can be backed at 13/2 to win the World Cup.

Prior to those two losses, England were riding a five-game winning streak at home, including three victories over New Zealand.

Wane insists he isn't taking Saturday's clash lightly and feels it's a great opportunity to build a winning mentality.

"There's a lot at stake for the players," Wane said. "This is their chance to put their stamp on a position for a place in the first game of the World Cup against Samoa.

"I want to watch how they behave in camp, how they train, how they get up ready to work, how they find my way of coaching.

"We have to win that game, no question, and I like that feeling."

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Tomkins to skipper hosts

James Tomkins played under Wane at Wigan Warriors and the now Catalans Dragons full-back has been trusted to captain the national side.

It's not a great surprise that Wane has tuned to a man he knows so well when considering his form in the Super League this season.

Tomkins is the leading points scorer for Catalans, scoring 64, and he's an interesting anytime tryscorer option on Saturday.

Wane will be relying on Tomkins to use his experience to benefit the debutants within the starting lineup.

St Helens trio Joe Batchelor, Matty Lees and Jack Welsby along with Huddersfield Giants' Jake Wardle are set to make their debuts.

Catalans' Michael McIlorum, who was recalled to the England set up for the first time since 2013, is part of the 13, while experienced heads Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall and Mike McKeeken are also set to start.

Hall was a key figure for England at the 2013 World Cup, scoring eight tries in five matches and he could well be a big threat for the hosts once again.

All-Stars seeking another upset

The Combined Nations All-Stars squad is made up of overseas players who ply their trade in the northern hemisphere.

Ellery Hanley takes charge of them this year and he's stuck with seven players that featured in the win over England in 2021.

In-form Salford Red Devils winger Ken Sio scored twice last year and will be looking to repeat those heroics.

Captain Shaun Kenny-Dowell, Kruise Leeming, Matt Prior and Rhyse Martin also have experience in this fixture.

Joe Lovodua has enjoyed a fine debut season in Super League with Hull FC and will be itching to make an appearance from the bench.

He's one of three Hull FC players named in the matchday squad with Ligi Sao set to start and Chris Satae also among the substitutes.

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