Robbie Mulhern is in contention to become Leigh Leopards’ first England international selection for nearly 40 years following his inclusion in the 24-player squad for the upcoming three-game series against Tonga.
England head coach Shaun Wane rewarded Mulhern for an outstanding individual season, his first at the Leopards Den, when he revealed his squad for the historic series.
England host Tonga this Sunday at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium with further tests at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium (Saturday 28 October) and at the AMT Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds (Saturday 4 November). All games will kick off at 2.30pm.
The series is the first between the two nations and their first meeting since the epic 2017 World Cup semi-final in Auckland.
Steve Donlan and the late Des Drummond were the last Leigh players to play for England, jointly representing their country against Wales at Ebbw Vale on Sunday, 14 October 1984.
In the process both missed Leigh’s game at Halifax that day, ending Donlan’s club record-breaking run of 179 consecutive club appearances. He was rewarded with the honour of the England captaincy as a strong England team recorded a 28-9 victory.
Drummond subsequently played five games for Great Britain while a Leigh player, against New Zealand (three games) and France (twice) in the 1985-86 season while Chris Johnson represented Great Britain against France in March 1985 as Leigh’s fullback.
The England team was:
Mick Burke (Widnes) try, 4 goals
Des Drummond (Leigh), Garry Schofield (Hull), Ellery Hanley (Bradford Northern) try, Garry Clark (Hull KR) 3 tries
Steve Donlan (Leigh) captain, David Cairns (Barrow)
David Hobbs (Featherstone Rovers), Kevin Beardmore (Castleford), Hugh Waddell (Blackpool Borough), Andy Kelly (Hull KR), Andy Goodway (Oldham), Milton Huddart (Whitehaven).
Subs: Barry Ledger (St Helens), Chris Arkwright (St Helens),
Mulhern has already represented England earlier in his career, against France in 2018 while a Hull KR player. He has also played for England Knights and made five appearances for Ireland.
The England Squad is as follows:
Matty Ashton (Warrington Wolves), John Bateman (Wests Tigers), Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves), Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Tyler Dupree (Wigan Warriors), Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors), Chris Hill (Huddersfield Giants), Tom Johnstone (Catalans Dragons), Toby King (Wigan Warriors), Morgan Knowles (St Helens), Matty Lees (St Helens), Mikey Lewis (Hull KR) , Tommy Makinson (St Helens), Mike McMeeken (Catalans Dragons),
Robbie Mulhern (Leigh Leopards), Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos), Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters), Harry Smith (Wigan Warriors), Danny Walker (Warrington Wolves), Jack Welsby (St Helens), Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders), George Williams (Warrington Wolves), Dom Young (Newcastle Knights).