England Rugby League Head Coach, Shaun Wane, has reaffirmed his commitment to the national side by agreeing a contract extension with the Rugby Football League (RFL).
Initially appointed until the end of next year’s Rugby League World Cup, Wane’s new deal will take him up to end of 2022.
Ralph Rimmer, the Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League:
“Shaun has made a great impression within the RFL and across the sport in general, and I am delighted that he will be staying on beyond the 2021 World Cup. He has proved himself to be both energetic and versatile in difficult times and has adapted to what is in front of him.
“We are well aware that Shaun has recently attracted the attention of several NRL clubs and wanted to ensure that he had enough security that kept him absolutely focused on the job in hand.
“Like all of us Shaun is bitterly disappointed not to be facing the Kangaroos this autumn, but he is not letting this short-term setback stand in the way of his long-term aim to make England the number one side in the world.
“Shaun’s passion for England Rugby League is matched by meticulous planning and preparation, and come autumn 2021 there will not be a better-prepared international side at the World Cup.”
The challenging circumstances presented by Covid-19 pandemic haven’t prevented Wane from developing relationships with prospective England players, with digital technology helping to maintain regular contact. Now that the Betfred Super League season has restarted the England coach will be attending live matches, and also visiting club training sessions to strengthen lines of communication with players and club coaches.
During the lockdown period, Wane appointed all the key personnel to the England’s Senior programme, including Hull FC's Andy Last and St Helens’ Paul Wellens as assistant coaches. He has also been able to share his own experience and coaching philosophy with staff members from the various England Rugby League programmes, both within the England Performance Unit and the Community Lions, and coaches at all levels from across the country.
“It’s an honour to be England Head Coach so I didn’t have to think too hard about extending my contract.
“Like everybody else I’ve missed the live action but it’s given me extra time to talk with players, build relationships, share ideas and let them know what they need to do to make the England team.
“Now Super League is back up and running I’m excited to see the players back on the field, doing what they do best and developing the winning mentality needed for World Cup success.”
Wane, 55, was head coach of his hometown club from 2011-18, during which time Wigan Warriors won three of the five Super League Grand Finals they reached, lifted the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2013 and were crowned World Club Champions in 2017.