Tonga and St Helens star Konrad Hurrell has thrown his support behind Kristian Woolf’s side putting their hands up to play England in a Test series to continue the growth of the two nations.
England’s plans for 2023 remain uncertain, with it increasingly unlikely that either Australia or New Zealand will travel across the world to play in this country later in the year.
That has once again left the international game in peril on this side of the world. England have no clear agenda set out just months after a home World Cup, but Hurrell is hopeful that Tonga could provide the answer.
He said he would be thrilled to be part of a series between the Tongans and the English admitting it would be ‘cool’ to watch the two nations do battle again after their unforgettable World Cup semi-final in 2017.
“It’d be so cool if Tonga played here,” he told Rugby League Live. “We didn’t get the chance to play England in the World Cup but we’re all still cut up from that game in 2017. We’d be really up for that I think, and playing here in England myself, I would love to see it.
“It’s good for us and England to keep a relationship together. Playing all the time is important, and with no disrespect, you can’t just have another game against nations lower down and think you’ll be ready to play the Kangaroos, you know? We need to have more big international games with each other.”
Hurrell is preparing for his second season at the Saints, having secured a one-year extension to the initial 12-month contract he signed last year. And he is now hopeful he can potentially see out his career as a St Helens player having fallen in love with the Super League champions.
“They had faith in me, and I just came in and saw all these great players and what the Saints culture meant to them,” he said.
“I feel like my career has got back on track. Winning Super League and the League Leaders’ Shield makes my career look a lot better than it did before. I am happy here and I feel like I want to stay until I retire,” he said.