England chief Shaun Wane says it's "very important" Andy Last took on Wakefield Trinity role

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ENGLAND head coach Shaun Wane has welcomed the decision of his assistant Andy Last to leave Hull FC and take up a new role at Wakefield Trinity saying he would have been “wasted” out of club coaching.

Last, 39, was announced as one of Wane’s assistants in April last year when he had also been promoted at Hull from assistant to take over from Lee Radford as caretaker head coach.

Although he guided the Black and Whites to the Super League semi-finals, he was not given the job on a permanent basis.

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The East Yorkshire club instead opted for Australian Brett Hodgson.

Last, who had been at Hull for 21 years in various roles and still had a year to run on his contract, was told there would be no position for him on the first-team coaching staff although he was offered another role in the organisation.

However, he turned that down in favour of a fresh start at Super League rivals Wakefield where he started last month as one of Chris Chester’s assistant coaches.

With the World Cup due to start in October, Wane said it was “very, very important” Last was still involved in such day-to-day coaching.

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“I am glad he has got a gig with Chris at Wakefield,” he said.

England assistant Andy Last training with Hull FC before his move to Wakefield Trinity. (Allan McKenzie/SWPIX)England assistant Andy Last training with Hull FC before his move to Wakefield Trinity. (Allan McKenzie/SWPIX)
England assistant Andy Last training with Hull FC before his move to Wakefield Trinity. (Allan McKenzie/SWPIX)

“He would have been wasted (out of club coaching); he is a very, very smart, hard-working coach.

“I rate him very highly.

“We have meetings every week - me, all the staff, the Knights staff - we watch games and we talk about things for three or four hours at a time.

“I learn so much, they learn so much and Andy Last is a big part of that.

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England coach Shaun Wane (Paul Currie/SWpix.com)England coach Shaun Wane (Paul Currie/SWpix.com)
England coach Shaun Wane (Paul Currie/SWpix.com)

“Now he is grafting every day it will keep him ticking over well.”

Wane revealed at a virtual press conference today he has has added former St Helens and Great Britain winger Ade Gardner to his England backroom team.

Gardner, 37, who scored 173 tries in 289 appearances for St Helens from 2002-14 and played 10 times for his country, is currently head of performance at Warrington Wolves.

He also confirmed Warrington’s strength and conditioning coach Chris Baron will be part of his England plans as well as his former Wigan Warriors director of performance Mark Bitcon.

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Meanwhile, Wane - who has still yet to take charge of a game following his appointment 12 months ago - is adamant a planned Exiles game must got ahead at some stage in the year to prepare his side for the World Cup.

The start of the Super League season is likely to be delayed due to Covid and that could create pressure on fixtures.

But Wane - who also wants another friendly 10 days before their World Cup opener against Samoa at Newcastle on October 23 - said: It (the Exiles) is still on, nothing changes.

“The season is being put back but that doesn’t alter that weekend.

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“I’ve not been told any different so from my point of view, the game is very important to me and the plans for the World Cup.

“I want the Exiles team to be as strong as possible; I need that game to be like a Test match.”

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