Combined Nations All Stars to return in 2022 as part of England's World Cup plans

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josie andrews
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Combined Nations All Stars to return in 2022 as part of England's World Cup plans

Post by josie andrews »

Exclusive: Plans have been finalised for the concept to continue in 2022.

The Combined Nations All Stars will return in 2022 as part of England's preparations for the World Cup.

Rugby League Live understands a decision has been made to restore the concept after it was introduced last year.

The game will take place on the weekend June 18-19th. A date has yet to be agreed as broadcast plans for the game are finalised.

Last year's fixture almost descended into farce as clubs initially resisted releasing players to represent the All Stars team. That was largely down to the fact Super League fixtures also took place over the same weekend. It resulted in the All Stars squad featuring players from the Championship and the England squad itself, with Jermaine McGillvary representing the team.

Nevertheless, the representative side, which can feature players from other nations such as Australia and New Zealand prevailed 26-24, inflicting Shaun Wane to a first defeat in charge of his country.

Crucially, a one-week international break has been implemented this year, which will also give Wane extended time with his squad ahead of the fixture and in preparation for next year's World Cup while also ensuring there are no fixture clashes for clubs to consider.

Who coaches the All Stars remains to be seen. Tim Sheens was in charge last year but has now returned to Australia to take on a role with Wests Tigers. Andrew Henderson was part of the coaching staff last year.

The fixture is expected to tie in with games for England's Women's and Wheelchair teams, who are also gearing up for the World Cup next October. Those plans are expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the postponed World Cup warm-up game with Fiji has also been rearranged and will take place at Rochdale's Crown Oil Stadium ahead of England's opener with Samoa. The game is understood to be taking place around ten days before the World Cup begins on October 15th.

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