Shaun Wane named his England team for the France game at lunchtime and as usual there was a heavy focus on the players not included.

Wane’s hands were tied to some extent with England’s NRL contingent unavailable and a whole host of Super League players ruled out through injury.

As a result, as many as eight players will win their first Test cap on Saturday, including three debutants in Jordan Abdull, Niall Evalds and Kruise Leeming.

Tom Davies, Paul McShane, Morgan Knowles, Mikolaj Oledzki and Joe Philbin all retain their places after featuring in the defeat to the Combined Nations All Stars in June.

The biggest talking point is the omission of Harry Newman in favour of Zak Hardaker and Reece Lyne.

Newman joins a long list of players that will not in action in Perpignan on Saturday, one that highlights the depth available to Wane a year out from the World Cup.

Sam Tomkins, George Williams and Daryl Clark are among the standout names unavailable this week due to injury, while NRL stars such as Luke Thompson and Elliott Whitehead were not considered.

Josh Griffin and Elliot Minchella are in a group of players that could benefit from the World Cup being pushed back after missing the bulk of the 2021 season, while last week’s England Knights game showed there is plenty of talent just starting out.

Wane has vowed to select his World Cup squad on form, which offers hope to every player not involved this weekend.

The game against France gives the England boss the chance to look at a whole host of new faces on the international stage.

Jordan Abdull of Hull KR works an opening against Castleford
Jordan Abdull of Hull KR works an opening against Castleford

It will be an invaluable experience for those players as they aim to stay in Wane’s thoughts for the World Cup.

One thing is for sure, Wane has a growing pool of players as 2022 approaches.

Alternative team: Sam Tomkins, Tom Johnstone, Jack Welsby, Toby King, Ash Handley, George Williams, Gareth Widdop, Tom Burgess, Daryl Clark, Luke Thompson, Elliott Whitehead, James Bentley, Joe Westerman.

Bench: Josh Hodgson, Ryan Sutton, Matty Lees, Mike McMeeken.

Other options: Harry Newman, Danny Walker, Oliver Gildart, Mark Percival, Stefan Ratchford, Ryan Hall, Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Trueman, Jake Connor, Jake Wardle, Oliver Holmes, Matt Whitley.