Saints host England vs Tonga series launch press event

Ahead of the Totally Wicked Stadium hosting the opening game of England vs Tonga on Sunday, 22nd October 2023, St.Helens welcomed members of the press for the series launch press event on Tuesday, 12th September.

Tanya Arnold hosted the press conference which featured England Head Coach & Captain Shaun Wane & George Williams, and Tonga Head Coach & Captain Kristian Woolf & Felise Kaufusi joining online. RL Commercial Managing Director Rhodri Jones was also in attendance.

With the series just over a month away from kicking off at the home of the World Club Champions, the excitement is building as both the Betfred Super League and NRL seasons near their conclusions.

Saints Head Coach Paul Wellens has been confirmed as the Tongan Assistant Coach and will reunite with Woolf who returns to England where during his three years as the Red V boss he won three Super League titles in a row with Wellens as his Assistant (2020-2022).

This October’s match between England and Tonga will be the first meeting between the two nations since the memorable semi-final match in Auckland in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

Full details of the England/Tonga Test series:

  • Sunday, 22nd October – 2:30pm – Totally Wicked Stadium
  • Saturday, 28th October – 2:30pm – John Smith’s Stadium
  • Saturday, 4th November – 2:30pm – Headingley Stadium

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Tonga last played England in this country in the 2006 Federation Shield Final – won by 32-14 by England – and the two did not meet again until the November 2017 when the Polynesians, trailing 20-0 with only seven minutes remaining, came within a whisker of overturning the deficit and denying England a final place at the death, eventually losing 20-18.

Two years later the Tongans would emphatically announce themselves as a force on the international stage, with outstanding victories over Australia and Great Britain. With coach Kristian Woolf at the helm and the outstanding NRL forward Jason Taumalolo likely to be in his squad, Tonga will present a significant challenge to Shaun Wane’s side.

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