SAINTS loose forward Morgan Knowles has switched his international allegiances and will now be available for selection in Shaun Wane’s England 2021 World Cup squad.

Wane has highlighted the qualities he sees in the number 13 - who he reckons will relish a tough test arena.

And if picked he would follow in a long line of top-drawer Saints players who have graced that England or Great Britain loose forward shirt - Vince Karalius, Harry Pinner and Paul Sculthorpe.

Although from Barrow, Knowles opted to play for Wales from a young age, qualifying on account of his Rhondda-born mother.

He came through the Welsh development system, winning three caps for Wales U16 and two for the under 19s before playing for the senior side four times between 2015-17, including a tough World Cup.

St Helens Star:

Knowles said: “I feel very honoured to have played for Wales and represent my Welsh family and heritage and I am hugely grateful for the opportunities and experiences this has brought my way.

“But first and foremost I’m a really proud Cumbrian. I was born in Barrow and I’m English and I want to play for my country.

“Hopefully if I work hard, I will be able to do that and I am excited about what the future may hold.”

The 23-year-old was in the 2019 Dream Team but missed out on the Great Britain tour in the autumn as a result of shoulder surgery.

St Helens Star:

The switch to England will give Knowles more opportunities to play against the world’s best at international level ­— and he may be viewed as a natural ball-handling replacement for Wigan’s Sean O’Loughlin, rather than the extra prop middle prototype.

Describing how he made the move Wane said: “I chased him.

"He is a player that I have admired – a big effort player which is perfect for me.

"I can see him playing in a test match. Already I have spoken to him and I like him. He is a player that stayed behind the first time I met him and asked what he needs to work on.

"That speaks volumes of him as a player, that desire to improve is everything to me."

He is a more classic loose forward, in the mould of Sean O'Loughlin whose jersey he will be seeking to take.

"He can play. Lockers is not going to last forever and he sees himself jumping in there, which I can see myself.

"He is one of them players with skill and a bit of speed who can do a job anywhere."

St Helens Star:

Leaving Wales will have been a wrench but it will give him the opportunity to face the elite international nations more regularly.

"It was Morgan’s choice and I gave him the option and he decided to come with me.

"You have seen what he is like at Saints, going head-to-head with some tough players.

"He is the sort of lad that will relish a tough test match and I look forward to seeing him in that sort of environment," Wane said.