England set for June meeting with ‘All Stars’ side

England will face a Combined Nations All Stars side on Friday June 25 after the Rugby Football League decided to ditch the Exiles name.

Supporter: England head coach Shaun Wane is keen for his side to play a mid-season game. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.

The Exiles ran from 2011 to 2013 as mid-season opposition for the national side and drew upon overseas players operating in Super League.

Reviving the concept has been discussed for months with England coach Shaun Wane keen to see it return as part of his side’s preparations for the World Cup later this year.

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In essence, he will get that wish but the governing body has altered the name of the opponent to instead link in with the heritage of the Other Nationalities team which dates back to 1903.

In theory, and possibly aiding the chance of the fixture becoming firmly established, that will allow selectors to invite any non-England players to take part if their own country, such as Wales, Scotland, France or Jamaica, are not in action themselves.

Historically, as well as Australian legends such as Warrington icon Brian Bevan and Leeds great Arthur Clues, the Other Nationalities side did incorporate Welsh stars such as Lewis Jones and Billy Boston as well as Huddersfield’s formidable Scottish loose forward Dave Valentine.

It is thought the term ‘Exiles’ could give off the wrong connotations but, similarly, after discussions with its Inclusion Board and the sport’s historians, the RFL feels Other Nationalities is deemed a dated term, too.

With that in mind, it has opted for the Combined Nations All Stars, coining the All Stars concept used by the NRL in their annual game since 2010.

More details will be confirmed today with Leeds Rhinos one of the clubs hoping to host the fixture.

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