Since its announcement, the excitement and momentum for this historic encounter has been growing. Fans have been asked to pick their thirteen for the Exiles side to take on McNamaras England, and coach McClennan has added another five picks of his own. The ex-Rhinos coach, and back-to-back Grand Final winner, will pick another player each week leading up to the game and finally have a squad of twenty-two to pick from.
So far there are just two Leeds players (Buderus and Leuluai) in a formidible looking Exiles squad which currently stands as; Danny Buderus (Leeds), Thomas Leuluai (Wigan), Louis Anderson (Warrington), George Carmont (Wigan), Rangi Chase (Castleford Tigers), David Fa’alogo (Huddersfield), David Faiumu (Huddersfield), Craig Fitzgibbon (Hull), Brett Hodgson (Warrington), Matt King (Warrington), Kylie Leuluai (Leeds), Steve Menzies (Catalan), Joel Monaghan (Warrington), Luke O’Donnell (Huddersfield), Mark O’Meley (Hull), Tony Puletua (St Helens), Pat Richards (Wigan), Iosia Soliola (St Helens).
Brent Webb must be hoping that he'll get selected as one of the remaining coaches picks but I'd be surprised if any other Rhinos make the final twenty-two. There will be plenty of Rhinos players in contention for the England side with; Sinfield, McGuire, Burrow, Peacock, Hall and Burgess, the front runners.
If I was Steve McNamara I'd be feeling extremely concerned about what his charges will have to take on. Not just that they will get beaten, but that they will get absolutely mullered. This is supposed to be a confidence boosting experience for the England side ahead of the four nations (where our odds to win are currently 7/1), I suspect that it will be anything but.