PREVIEW | England vs France

England start life under Wayne Bennett when they take on France in their International friendly in Avignon today.

There are no fewer than five players making their International debut including Saints Mark Percival and Cas’ Luke Gale.

This week Australian-born Bennett has selected Sam Burgess as captain for the upcoming Four Nations tournament, however he is being rested from the warm-up match.

The influence of an Australian-born coach continues with a large contingent of players currently running around in the National Rugby League present in the squad.  The Burgess brothers, James Graham, Gareth Widdop, Elliott Whitehead and Josh Hodgson have been named for this match.

France will play their first International since November 7 2015 when they beat Scotland 32-18 to finish second in the European Championships.

Tony Gigot scored a double in that victory and will play an important role today along with Remi Casti in their side’s chances.

France will be looking for a more competitive effort compared to the 4-84 loss inflicted when these two sides met in October last year.  John Bateman and Brett Ferres coming up with hat-tricks in the lopsided game.

Kick-off is set for 17:30 GMT.

France: Olivier Arnaud, William Barthau, Jullian Bousquet, Guillaumme Bonnet, Remi Casty, Alrix Da Costa, Vincent Duport, Benjamin Garcia, Tony Gigot, Mickael Goudemand, Benjamin Jullien, Kevin Larroyer, Romain Navarette, Mathias Pala, Eloi Pelissier, Ugo Perez, Stan Robin, Mickael Simon, Gadwin Springer.

England: Kevin Brown (Widnes Vikings), George Burgess, Thomas Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves), Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves/St George-Illawarra Dragons), Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors), Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers), James Graham (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs), Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos), Josh Hodgson (Canberra Raiders), Jonny Lomax (St Helens), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Mark Percival (St Helens), Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves), Scott Taylor (Hull FC), Stevie Ward, Kallum Watkins (both Leeds Rhinos), Elliott Whitehead (Canberra Raiders), Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons).


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