THE Exiles, a team made up of the cream of overseas talent drawn from the Stobart Super League, have named former St Helens and New Zealand Warriors coach Daniel Anderson as their head coach for the 2012 International Origin Series.
The two-game programme pits them against England on Saturday June 16 at Langtree Park, St Helens and Wednesday July 4 with the venue to be announced at a later date and will see Anderson return to the UK for the first time since 2008 when he enjoyed great success as St Helens’ chief, winning the Challenge Cup and Super League title.
Anderson, who is currently in Australia working for a national radio station, has not wasted any time in selecting Warrington Wolves full-back Brett Hodgson as his captain for the International Series.
“It is a great honour to be selected as the coach of the Exiles,” said Anderson. “I love the concept and I believe I have some fantastic players at my disposal to continue on from last year’s victory over England and hopefully win this year’s series.
“Brett Hodgson will make a great leader for the group. He has bags of experience and was part of last year’s winning side. He is well respected by his peers and his knowledge and understanding of what makes a successful camp will benefit the players as we approach the opening game in June.”
Anderson, who also guided Parramatta Eels and New Zealand Warriors to NRL Grand Final appearances in recent years, will also be joined by Hull FC Director of Rugby Shaun McRae, former Bradford Bulls and New Zealand star Robbie Hunter-Paul and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats assistant boss Glenn Morrison in a newly formed Exiles management team.
The four-man team will take full responsibility for developing the Exiles and will monitor player performance throughout the weekly rounds of the Stobart Super League before Anderson arrives in the country in early June.
“We have a number of world-class players available to pick from,” added Anderson.
“I will work closely with Shaun (McRae), Robbie (Hunter-Paul) and Glenn (Morrison) to make sure we are monitoring the players on a weekly basis with a view to selecting the strongest possible squad to face England.
“England will no doubt use the two-game series as part of their continued preparation for the Rugby League World Cup in 2013, which is vital to their on-going development.
“I see it as a way for those overseas players playing in the Super League to have another crack at representative football. The concept is gathering awareness across the sport and an intense series can only benefit the game in England.”
Tickets for the England v Exiles, International Origin Game 1, at Langtree Park, St Helens, will go on sale to St Helens Season Ticket holders only from 9am on Thursday March 15 and can be purchased through the St Helens ticket office direct on 01744 455 052. Please note you can only buy your place or seat in this time period.
Season ticket holders will have a two week exclusivity period before tickets go on General sale on Thursday March 29 when tickets, priced from £18 adult and £9 concession terracing, can be purchased through the RFL Ticket office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
In addition, community groups and clubs can take advantage of a fantastic ticket offer with the RFL launching a group ticket deal whereby fans can take advantage of a seated match ticket, an England replica shirt and an Exiles replica shirt for only £44 for an adult and £34 for a concession (senior citizen over 65 and junior under 16). To take advantage of the group deal, please contact Ray Tennant 07595 520338 or Bev Coleman 07595 520578 and show your support for England and international Rugby League this summer.