Saint Man delight to be called up to England squad for France clash

Young Saints prop George Delaney expressed his delight after England coach Shaun Wane called him to inform him that he has been selected for the test squad preparing for Saturday’s game in France.

The uncapped 20-year-old front rower joins fellow Saints Jack Welsby and Matty Lees in the squad preparing for the mid-season test in Toulouse.


Although the strong-running Widnesian has previously played for the England Knights, this marks his first time with the elite national squad—and he views it as a tremendous honor and an opportunity to learn.

Delaney expressed, “When Shaun phoned me up and talked about my recent performances and informed me that I was in the squad for the weekend, I couldn’t believe it, honestly. It’s something I didn’t expect at this stage.”


“He mentioned that whether I make the final 17 or not, it will be a valuable experience for me. Even if I don’t get to play, being in this environment will help me adapt if I get called up again in the future.”

“Any opportunity to play for England is monumental for me – if I do get the chance to play, it’ll be a significant moment for me – and I will treasure that experience.


“I’m delighted to be among those names and to be acknowledged as not far off from them or on par with some of them, so it’s very gratifying.”

Wane has selected a number of middles, including former Saint Luke Thompson and current teammate Matty Lees.


Delaney, who joined the camp today, is eagerly looking forward to observing and learning—and hopefully earning his place in the squad.


“Working alongside Matty Lees and observing his day-to-day routine at Saints has been invaluable for my development. It will be insightful to see the training methods and standards of the other internationals,” Delaney remarked.


“Matty and I share similarities in our work ethic and fitness levels for props. This allows us to handle more game time than the average front rower.

“While the larger players on the bench play a crucial role, many teams now play at a faster pace, and our style involves a set-for-set approach, which aligns well with my strengths.”

Adjusting to the role of prop from Age Grade rugby to open age level can be one of the toughest transitions, especially against seasoned veterans who know all the tricks of front row play.


However, Delaney has taken it all in his stride, remaining grounded and willing to put in the hard work away from the club. He earned valuable experience through Dual Reg appearances for Swinton in early 2023, a period when the main squad was in Australia.


“My journey has been ideal. I progressed from the Academy to the Reserves, and before making my debut for Saints, I gained experience in the Championship, which is more physical and slower-paced. Transitioning to the faster game at the top level was smoother because of that,” he explained.


“The Castleford and Wakefield games in 2022 were opportunities to rest the first team, and these chances don’t come around often. So, when you get your shot, you have to seize it and make the most of it.”

“I didn’t initially expect to go to Australia—it was my first year, and as a young lad coming through the Academy, I had accepted early on that I wouldn’t be going with the lads.


“By the time they were on their way, I had already moved past it and saw it as an opportunity to train hard, focus, and get some game time in the Championship.


“I’m still progressing, and now playing at the highest level, I’m learning so much in every game from the feedback I receive.”


Delaney’s journey from the Academy to the first team mirrors that of teenager Noah Stephens this year, who has made a strong impression in recent weeks during Saints’ injury crisis.


“Noah has also stepped up really well. He’s had some impressive performances off the bench and brings a different dynamic,” Delaney commented.

“He’s a big lad—him and Iggy off the bench bring a different dynamic. They’re powerful and help speed up the ruck, allowing Daz to exploit gaps,” Delaney remarked.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.