England 26-4 Tonga: Harry Smith and Harry Newman help give Shaun Wane selection headache he wants

England may have wrapped up their series win over Tonga before the third and final Test at Headingley - but they saved their most complete performance for the Leeds crowd.

There was focus right to the end: With the final play of the game, Tolutau Koula looked certain to be in for a try in the corner, only for Jack Welsby and Harry Newman to combine superbly to stop him just short.

And there was sparkle too: Harry Smith set up Leeds Rhinos' Newman, the home favourite, for a very popular try with a magnificent cross-field kick, arguably the best scoring move of the entire series.

Both moments came after England were already 20 points ahead of the tourists before going on to seal a 26-4 victory, showing how confidence is flowing in this new-look side - and how much of a selection headache coach Shaun Wane has ahead.

"It's unbelievable, I don't think many people thought we would get a whitewash at the start," Wigan's Smith, named player of the series, said.

"The bond we've had over the past three weeks showed in that game.

"To make the step up and prove I can do it at this level has been massive. The trust from Waney and staff has shown. No player from one to 17 in this series has had a bad game."

'I saw space and gave it a welly'

Harry Newman
Harry Newman scored England's fourth try against Tonga at Headingley - home ground of his club, Leeds Rhinos

Since making his England debut in the mid-season international against France in April, Smith has established himself as one for the future.

There is a burgeoning partnership with Newman, who made his debut in the opening Test against Tonga in St Helens - as shown in that fantastic fourth try.

"We spoke as a half-back pairing, to back ourselves and take the opportunity," Smith said of his cross-field kick.

"I do mess about in training, trying different kicking styles. I saw space and gave it a welly. It was natural instinct; you need that at this level.

"I don't like to overthink things, I just back my ability, and execute best I can."

The performances of Smith and Newman in this series leave Wane spoiled for choice in the backline.

Dom Young missed the series with an abscess on his thumb, Tommy Makinson has a wrist injury. Toby King limped out of the second Test with an ankle knock, Liam Farrell got just three minutes all series.

Captain George Williams returned for the final Test after suspension, which meant Mikey Lewis dropped out despite his man-of-the-match showing at St Helens in the opener.

"It just shows you the strength of what we've got, but we have to get stronger," Wane told BBC One. "I want more headaches, more players."

So has Smith nailed his place as far as Wane is concerned? "No, I'm happy but there are still things he can improve on."

Smith has certainly impressed the pundits and ex-players in an England shirt however, his kicking particularly drawing rave reviews.

"It was a special piece of play in what was a special series for Harry Smith," former England international Jon Wilkin told BBC One of that kick for Newman's try.

"His ability to spot kicks and execute kicks, whether it be through structure or ad hoc like this, that's special."

"The vision he's got to spot and the execution are incredible," added 2017 World Cup runner-up Kevin Brown. "If he puts too much height on it, the Tongan player's there; if he doesn't put enough weight on it, then it doesn't reach its target.

"It probably sums up why they've been so dominant in this series."

'Samoa semi-final will always haunt me'

But while England have swept Tonga, painful memories remain for Wane when it comes to playing Pacific Island nations.

In 2024, Samoa are pencilled in for a tour, having stunned England on home soil with a 27-26 golden point extra-time win in last year's World Cup semi-final.

That series may finally give Wane and England the chance to properly bury the trauma of what happened at Emirates Stadium - because not even a 3-0 series win here has done that.

"That will always haunt me," Wane said. "But I am pleased with these three Tests.

"They [Samoa] will be confident after they stuffed us in the semi, but we have shown how we can deal with big bodies."

And with plenty of fresh faces and major talents, England have every chance.