27th April 2021, 13:10 | combined_nations_all-stars
England will face the Combined Nations All Stars on Friday 25 June at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The All Stars side – set to be led by former Australia Head Coach Tim Sheens – will be formed by non-English players currently competing in the Betfred Super League.
With that in mind, we’ve shortlisted five potential centres who could line up for the All Stars in June…
Kevin Naiqama was one of a handful of key signings for St Helens ahead of the 2019 season which have since seem them become the dominant force in the Betfred Super League winning consecutive Grand Finals.
Naiqama had previously represented Newcastle Knights, Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers in the NRL before moving to the Totally Wicked Stadium two years ago. Since arriving at St Helens, the 32-year-old has scored 32 tries in 53 outings for the club featuring in both the 2019 and 2020 Betfred Super League Grand Finals and at Wembley Stadium in the 2019 Challenge Cup Final.
On the international stage, Naiqama has been a mainstay in the Fijian side since 2009, earning 19 caps for his country. He helped Fiji progress to the Semi-Finals of each of the last two Rugby League World Cups before twice being knocked out by Australia.
Naiqama last made two appearances for Fiji back in 2019 and could return to the international scene as part of the Combined Nations All Stars in June.
Konrad Hurrell has certainly made an impression since his arrival in the United Kingdom ahead of the 2019 Betfred Super League season whether it be with his powerful centre play for Leeds Rhinos or his jovial attitude away from the field.
Hurrell signed for Leeds after enjoying spells with New Zealand Warriors and Gold Coast Titans Down Under. Despite struggles with injuries, Hurrell has managed 20 tries in 37 appearances for the Rhinos and helped the club lift their first Challenge Cup since 2015 last season.
England are certainly familiar with Hurrell as he was part of the Tongan side that infamously ran England so close in that legendary Rugby League World Cup Semi-Final in 2017. In total, the 29-year-old has earned nine caps for Tonga, scoring twice.
Hurrell could add some serious size and power to the Combined Nations All Stars back-line.
Salford Red Devils centre Krisnan Inu is an option for the Combined Nations All Stars in their back-line whether it be at centre or even on the wing.
Inu was named in the Betfred Super League Dream Team last season following a run of impressive performances for the Red Devils which included a run of scoring 12 tries in 15 games and helping the club to their first Challenge Cup Final since 1969.
The 34-year-old is a former Rugby League World Cup winner with New Zealand. Inu didn’t feature in the 2013 Final at Old Trafford but was part of the squad appearing against France in the Group Stage of the competition. Inu has since gone on to represent Samoa in 2014 against Fiji.
Inu could give the Red Devils representation in the Combined Nations All Stars squad.
Currently in his sixth season with Hull FC, Carlos Tuimavave has been one of the Airlie Birds’ outstanding performers during his tenure at the KCOM Stadium.
Tuimavave joined FC in 2016 after relatively uneventful spells with New Zealand Warriors and Newcastle Knights. However, he made an immediate impact at Hull FC helping the club to successive Challenge Cup Final victories in 2016 and 2017 against Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors, respectively.
Tuimavave has featured in a massive 126 games for Hull FC, scoring 40 tries, and has played in a number of positions including in the halves. The 29-year-old has three Samoa caps to his name but hasn’t represented his country since a 2015 victory over Tonga.
Combined Nations All Stars Head Coach Tim Sheens will certainly be keeping an eye on Tuimavave in 2021.
The biggest arrival ahead of the 2021 Betfred Super League was Kangaroos and Queensland legend Greg Inglis who came out of retirement to join Warrington Wolves.
Despite not yet featuring for Warrington, Inglis has certainly proven he has the credentials to be part of the Combined Nations All Stars as they face England in June.
Inglis is Queensland’s all-time top try-scorer, third in Australia’s all-time try-scoring ranks as well as having won the Clive Churchill medal, Wally Lewis medal and Golden Boot throughout his career.
If selected, Inglis would link up with former Australia Head Coach Tim Sheens who won both the Rugby League World Cup and Four Nations with Inglis as part of his team.
Get your tickets to watch England face the Combined Nations All Stars at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday 25th June here.