WARRINGTON Wolves players who are selected for the England squad in 2024 will not be playing Samoa at the end of the year – as had been hoped.

The Rugby Football League (RFL) are exploring all options after Samoa, who defeated England in the semi-finals of last year's Rugby League World Cup, turned down an invitation to play a three-match series on these shores next autumn.

Samoa’s decision follows their participation in the southern hemisphere’s Pacific Shield – a competition Samoa’s new management say they intend to enter again in 2024.

England completed a 3-0 series whitewash of Tonga at a packed Headingley Stadium in Leeds last weekend and, with a tour of Australia scheduled for 2025 and the next Rugby League World Cup taking place in 2026, the RFL is determined to maintain the momentum for Shaun Wane’s squad in 2024.

RFL chairman and International Rugby League board member, Simon Johnson, said: “Samoa’s decision is especially disappointing, coming just days after the conclusion of Tonga’s history-making visit to these shores this autumn, but we can’t afford to dwell on it. They have made their decision.

“We now owe it to Shaun Wane and the players, and to England supporters, to deliver meaningful international rugby league in 2024, and we are working with RL Commercial and the IRL to make that happen.

“We’ll make further announcements as soon as there are any positive developments.”

England Men and Women are scheduled to tour Australia in 2025, and New Zealand and Australia have both agreed to visit England in consecutive years after the 2026 World Cup.