Shaun Wane has hit back at Hull FC chairman Adam Pearson over claims that England’s mid-season match against a Combined Nations All Stars team is a “waste of time”.
Pearson made the statement based on if, as expected, Wane does not have access to his NRL contingent of players, and threatened to withhold Hull’s overseas stars from the game on June 25. But the England boss insists every club knew when the fixture would be played and maintains it is a crucial part of his plans for this year’s World Cup.
Wane said: “I’ve had these conversations with them for weeks and he (Pearson) has known about this for 12 months. I don’t understand why you’d put it in the paper and not ring me.
“This has been an international weekend, agreed by the International Board and by the owners of the clubs, for months. I’ve had chats with the CEOs, I’ve had chats with the coaches, and we’ve all had chance to voice our opinions. Everybody was really supportive and then all of a sudden he’s pulling players out – I just don’t understand it.
“I know it’s difficult because of the congested fixture list – it’s difficult to manage because they’ve just had the worst season ever financially and commercially. I get it, they need crowds and money so I do understand what they’re going through.
“But the fact is we have to prepare our team and make sure our players are ready for Samoa in that first game. If that means playing an All Stars game then that’s we need to do, and I’m sure 98 percent of the Super League will get behind it.”
Wane has been at pains to strengthen relationships with both clubs and coaches since taking charge of the national side at the start of last year. And he maintains he will listen to his peers – unlike his experiences when he was coaching Wigan, where he says players came back from international duty “broken”.
Wane added: “We’d send information on what our players needed to do, GPS-wise, because we have them every day and they’re our players. But they came back broken and it wasn’t stuck to.
“Any advise I get off Daryl Powell’s physio at Castleford about Paul McShane, that’s exactly what we’ll do. We want the players to be healthy and we want to send them back to Castleford healthy.
“That’s the way it should be – a respectful attitude to clubs.”