Matty Lees backs England coach Shaun Wane to get team to ‘prove people wrong’

MATTY Lees knows he is better prepared to help England go for World Cup glory and ‘proving people wrong’, thanks to Shaun Wane and being a World Club champion.

The St Helens prop knows both sides of the Test coin after playing in three victories at last year’s tournament, in which the nation scored 200 points and conceded 16.

Matty Lees has backed England boss Shaun Wane to take the side even higher after keeping his jobSWPIX.COM

But he was a spectator as Wane’s men lost an agonising semi-final to Samoa 27-26 in extra time.

Now after Rugby Football League bosses opted to stick with Wane until the 2025 edition in France following a review, Lees believes things are ready to kick on.

And being part of Saints’ 13-12 World Club Challenge heroics at the home of NRL champions Penrith will help – as they have targets on their heads.

He said as he is in line for a place in next month’s mid-season Test against France: “It’s great Shaun’s staying as you want to keep everything the same.

“He’s straight to the point, which I like from a coach. He’ll tell you straight and tell you little bits you need to improve on. If he’ snot happy with something you know about it – that keeps standards high.

“He’ll learn himself from things that happened at the World Cup and hopefully we take it one step further with every game we play.

“As a nation, we need to be playing international matches to get better – we really need to be heading towards the 2025 World Cup and proving people wrong by showing we’re the best team in the world.

“We’re always looking to take it one step further and we were absolutely gutted we weren’t involved in the final. We’ll all learn a lot and as long as we keep the squad similar, we’ll build.

“I’ve only played three matches in the World Cup but I learned a lot from them. It’s a massive step up from playing Super League every week.

“And with the likes of Samoa, Tonga and other nations, you are against bigger bodies, you need to adapt and learn new skills to beat them.

“We proved we’re a lot fitter than them and I took that into the World Club Challenge. That gave me huge belief and playing those Tests helped as it reminded me of them, they were bigger bodies.

“Now every team gets better and wants to beat Saints – every game’s like a Grand Final and teams will look at us winning the World Club Challenge and think, ‘They’ve got a marker on their head.’

Lees took his attitude from the World Cup into St Helens’ World Club Challenge victorySWPIX.COM

“We’re a big target.”

Lees and Saints found themselves brought back to Earth with a bump as their homecoming after their Australian heroics ended with a 25-24 loss to Leeds and tempers rising as ref Chris Kendall sent off Konrad Hurrell and sin binned Sione Mata’utia and Curtis Sironen.

But the 25-year-old believes that was another lesson learned – keep calm and carry on.

Lees added: “It’s never nice to lose but we’ll take a lot of learning from that. There were a few decisions which didn’t go our way – we can’t let that get on top of us.

“There were a few hot heads towards the end of the game, we need to keep calm in those situations.”