SHAUN Wane has hit England’s players ‘straight between the eyes’ after being left ‘embarrassed.’
Top of his list was NRL star George Williams, who he believes can do even better.
National boss Wane has held meetings with players based Down Under – Williams, Josh Hodgson, Elliott Whitehead, Ryan Sutton, Thomas Burgess, Herbie Farnworth and Luke Thompson.
And he is in no doubt that half-back Williams, who has established himself as a star at Canberra Raiders, can produce the goods even more as he aims for World Cup glory.
He said: “George has done OK but I know him very, very well and he needs to and can do a lot better, no question about that, with me.
“I’ve spoken to the NRL players individually and it was straight between the eyes. There’s no bigger fan of George Williams than me but I always want more, I always want better, I’m never happy with anybody.
“He’s a typical case. He’s doing OK at Canberra but I watched some games they raved about and I thought, ‘I must be watching a different game.’
“I see it very differently, I’m not getting carried away with what Canberra think of him. He can do a lot more.”
Wane is still gearing up for a World Cup tilt in the Autumn, no-one else has told him otherwise.
And after getting the top job, his eyes have been opened to just how much the national team matters to clubs.
He added: “It’s opened my eyes and I’m a bit embarrassed as I’ve been a club coach.
“Speaking to club coaches, CEOs and owners regularly, I’m shocked at how much support – genuine help – there is and how much they want our World Cup campaign to do well.
“It’s quite touching really. They’ve got their own problems but they’re doing everything they can to help England succeed.
“I’m really impressed. It’s not just words. I’ve asked for things and got them, which has been outstanding. It shows they understand how important it is we have a great World Cup.”
Wane admits he spoke to Brisbane Broncos starlet Herbie Farnworth while he was in his native Lancashire with family and offered him hope of a World Cup spot.
He said: “I spoke to him but didn’t think it was appropriate to meet him. He was a standout in a poor team last year and if he carries on, he’ll be pushing for a spot.”
And as yet, there is no replacement for Sean O’Loughlin as England skipper, with Wane admitting: “I’m concentrating on trying to get to see my players first!
“There’s some obvious ones but Lockers is pretty much irreplaceable as a player and a leader.”
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