Westwood and Terry to lend support for England’s Rugby League World Cup bid

Former Chelsea captain John Terry has agreed to lend his support to England’s bid to win the Rugby League World Cup.

England head coach Shaun Wane is leaving no stone unturned in his efforts to end the country’s near 50-year wait to land the top prize in the world of rugby league and is hoping the former England captain, who led the Blues to five Premier League titles, can help him find the winning formula.

Wane, who moves in high circles in his role as a motivational speaker, has also been promised the backing of Ryder Cup golfer Lee Westwood, a well-known rugby league fan.

England Head Coach Unveiling – University of Bolton Stadium
England Head Coach Unveiling – University of Bolton Stadium

“I’m doing a sporting director course two days a month,” Wane said. “I’m on lots of Zoom calls with international footballers like John Terry, I’m having a few chats with him.

“I did a chat for UEFA coaching badge attendees and he was one of them. It was good, I spoke to him about our standards and things, I ask him regular questions.

“I learn from him, he learns from me and big organisations and owners. Every day is a full day and I go to bed and I’ve learned something.”

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace – Premier League – Villa Park
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace – Premier League – Villa Park

Wane, who hopes to take charge of his first game as national coach at the end of June in a proposed game against the Exiles, says Terry has agreed to attend England’s training sessions once they resume.

“He’s definitely going to come up to training,” Wane said. “He’s really keen and he’s very smart. He loves our way of thinking in rugby league and what we did at Wigan.

“He’s got a real understanding about rugby league and he loves the game.

“He’s a very proud Englishman. Lee Westwood is another one and he’ll be getting involved with us.

“It’s important for us, Lee is very individual in terms of the sport he plays and John has played for England.

“I love speaking to people like that about how they train, what they do and what their standards are and I’m assuming that our players will have a buzz for that too and if they don’t, I want them to have an open mind about things like that.”

Meanwhile, Wane says he has been touched by the overwhelming support from clubs as he bids to become England’s first World Cup-winning coach since 1972.

Lee Westwood File Photo
Lee Westwood File Photo

“I have to say, speaking to club coaches, CEOs and owners regularly throughout last year and over Christmas, I am absolutely shocked at how much genuine support there is and how much they want our World Cup campaign to go well,” Wane said.

“It’s quite touching really because they’ve got their own problems at their own clubs but they’re doing everything to make England succeed.

“I’m a bit embarrassed, to be honest, because I’ve been a club coach but I’ve been impressed with the genuine offers of help.

“I’ve asked for things and I’ve got them and it’s been outstanding. It shows you how much they understand how important it is we have a great World Cup this year.”