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England in good form for World Cup and Daryl Powell hard to follow at Castleford, says Terry O’Connor |  Rugby League News



Terry o’connor

Rugby league expert and columnist

England to kick off their 2021 World Cup campaign against Samoa on October 23; O’Connor: “Obviously he hasn’t had a chance to pick a team yet because of Covid but it’s a huge 2021 for Shaun Wane, and for a number of players.”

Last updated: 12/04/21 20:28 pm

England in good form for World Cup and Daryl Powell hard to follow at Castleford, says Terry O’Connor |  Rugby League News

Wane creates a lot of competition for places in England

Terry O’Connor explains why he’s confident for England at the World Cup and looks at why Daryl Powell will be a tough act to follow at Castleford …

England coach Shaun Wane admitted last week that Sam Tomkins was winning the race to become a fullback for the October World Cup. Obviously he hasn’t had a chance to pick a squad yet because of Covid, but it’s a huge 2021 for Wane and for a number of players.

As a national coach, he has to be convinced that Sam can deliver the biggest stage under pressure. He’s always had a good rapport with his players and of course nurtured Sam in Wigan before leaving for New Zealand, but if I was a full-back with international aspirations I would love the England boss revealed his hand. .

England in good form for World Cup and Daryl Powell hard to follow at Castleford, says Terry O’Connor |  Rugby League News

Sam Tomkins is the front runner for the full back

For Super League rivals like Niall Evalds, Stefan Ratchford, Zak Hardaker (albeit a fullback or a center) and Jake Connor, a glove has indeed been thrown, and this intense competition can only benefit the National team.

Connor in particular, who was my advice to Man of Steel before a ball was kicked, started Super League XXVI in dazzling form, with Brett Hodgson’s influence already evident. By declaring Tomkins his number one, Sam has to play with everyone chasing him.

England in good form for World Cup and Daryl Powell hard to follow at Castleford, says Terry O’Connor |  Rugby League News

Jake Connor of Hull FC

The same can be said for hooking, another position where Wane is spoiled for choice. James Roby, Paul McShane and Daryl Clark take on Josh Hodgson, the 2016 Dally M contestant. I love Shaun’s honesty – he will tell them who is in front of them and what they need to do to make a difference.

It will make the most of those contenders who are not in pole position, and I would have liked that, as did the players I have played with. That’s why I’m really optimistic about this World Cup; lots of competition, with a few shooting stars to emerge as the season develops.

Speaking of the reigning Man of Steel, Castleford topped the news agenda this week. Obviously, the Tigers will be totally different in 2022 with the departure of Daryl Powell. He will want to take with him two of his precious assets, Jake Trueman and Peter Mata’utia, if the rumors are true.

I understand Ryan Sheridan will also be relocating as Powell’s assistant. He was part of the dream squad along with Daryl, and all of the match coaches will be aware of the work they did on and off the pitch, from the moment they made Featherstone such a force in the championship. . He was chased by the Tigers and now he’s been trapped by one of the richest clubs in the game. Powell knows his stock is really high and I’m sure he’ll want hands-on control of everything at the stadium. Halliwell Jones, in the same way he has carte blanche in the jungle.

England in good form for World Cup and Daryl Powell hard to follow at Castleford, says Terry O’Connor |  Rugby League News

York City Knight coach James Ford could be a candidate to succeed Powell at Cas

As for his replacement, I think it’s a poisoned chalice for the next manager. Powell is a huge act to follow. With Brian McDermott already retiring from the job, I’m sure names like James Ford in York will be of interest to the Tigers, but current Wolves assistant and former Cas hooker Andrew Henderson will surely be a serious contender.

Warrington was one of five teams facing championship opposition this weekend and it was great watching those David and Goliath battles. While elite clubs are still vying for big overseas signings, they are also looking for the next Chris Hill, Alex Walmsley, Zak Hardaker, Tom Lineham or more recently James Bentley from the bottom of the pyramid.

When I think back five years, to those young players signed by Super League clubs at the age of 16 – too young, I think, but that’s only my opinion – you can never tell where those talents might be by the time they turn 19 or 20.

It’s crazy, but in 2016, 75% of the signatures made by SL clubs were from the one or two quartile of the school year (i.e. September-November or December-February), 45% of those 75 being born in quartile one. .

It tells me that it’s the bigger, stronger, faster kids that have the opportunities. The reason I’m going back to 2016 and watching the league and Ligue 1 is because I’m interested in those youngsters who haven’t yet managed to reach and realize their potential in the Premier League – let’s hope Walmsley and Bentley will be able to play a role model to inspire them to achieve their dreams.

England in good form for World Cup and Daryl Powell hard to follow at Castleford, says Terry O’Connor |  Rugby League News

James Bentley of St Helens may be a role model for youngsters who envision the Super League dream

Fingers crossed the big boys continue to watch the lower divisions. For example, when we were 15/16 years old, Barrie had never been near the Northwest counties or played representative rugby since he was born in late July. I was born in October – and have always been one of the fattest and fattest children in the world – so I was happier being selected for representative grades. But on 18/19 everything stabilized, with Baz at my side for BARLA, and three years later he faced the Australians at Wembley with the British side.

England in good form for World Cup and Daryl Powell hard to follow at Castleford, says Terry O’Connor |  Rugby League News

Barrie McDermott in action for Great Britain in 2002

To all those young people who are playing in the league right now, don’t give up on those dreams. And for those who are currently in the top tier, making a name for themselves every week live on Sky Sports, appreciate your chance and give it your best shot. Because believe me your career is over before you know it. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be left with silverware and fond memories or a crushed face that only a mother could love, like the aforementioned Mac Barrie!

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