England head coach Shaun Wane: “Despite losing two players, I am still extremely confident that the squad I have selected is strong enough to win this series against Tonga”; Dom Young in hospital after having abscess drained; Morgan Knowles out with thumb injury; England lead series 1-0
Last Updated: 24/10/23 9:42pm
England duo Dom Young and Morgan Knowles have both been ruled out of the remaining two matches of the international series against Tonga.
Sydney Roosters winger Young missed Sunday’s opening 22-18 win after having an abscess drained, and remains in hospital.
Meanwhile, Knowles picked up a thumb injury during the hard-fought opener and has also been ruled out for the remainder of the series, which continues in Huddersfield on Saturday.
England coach Shaun Wane said: “Despite losing two players, I am still extremely confident that the squad I have selected is strong enough to win this series against Tonga.”
After Saturday’s clash at the John Smith’s Stadium, the third and final match of the series takes place at Headingley in Leeds the following Saturday.
Tom Johnstone’s second-half double sealed a rugged 22-18 win for England in the first of their three-match autumn Test series against Tonga in St Helens.
The Catalans Dragons winger had been almost anonymous in the first half but pounced on a pair of chances – the first a sublime floated pass from captain Jack Welsby – as the hosts pulled clear in the second period.
An impressive debut from Hull KR stand-off Mikey Lewis, who made then scored one before the break, also contributed to an encouraging afternoon for Wane’s men who were still forced to live on their nerves in the final stages.
A late try from Tolutau Koula threatened to set up a grandstand finish but England held on for the win in what was their first serious Test since last year’s heartbreaking World Cup semi-final exit.