England V France preview: Here is everything you need to know ahead of Saturday's Rugby League World Cup clash

England take on France this weekend in their second group game of the Rugby League World Cup.

The two teams go head-to-head at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday evening (K.O. 5pm).

Here is some of the key information:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad


Dom Young celebrates his try against Samoa

Shaun Wane’s side made an emphatic start to the tournament, as they beat Samoa 60-6 at St James’ Park.

This came as a surprise to many, with England considered second favourites heading into the game.

While the sound problems during the opening ceremony meant the stadium was a bit quiet throughout the early stages of the fixture; England’s first try soon got the crowd going.

Dom Young and Elliott Whitehead were among the scorers, with the pair going over for braces.

Kai Pearce-Paul is set to play for England this weekend

Wane has promised to make some changes this weekend, with the players who weren’t involved in Newcastle set to come into the side.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad


France also got their World Cup campaign off to a winning start, as they beat Greece in Doncaster.

Five players went over for tries in the 34-12 victory, including a brace from Benjamin Jullien.

John Bateman is back in contention after serving his three-match ban
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rugby league continues to be a growing sport in France, as they prepare to host the World Cup in 2025.

The Coaches:

Shaun Wane took over the England job in 2020, but was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic during his first few years.

Prior to this role, the former Great Britain prop spent eight season as Wigan Warriors head coach, winning three Super League Grand Finals and one Challenge Cup.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
The England squad applaud the fans in Newcastle

Meanwhile, Laurent Frayssinous has been the head coach of France since 2021, and was previously in charge of Catalans Dragons between 2013 and 2017.

The retired fullback also represented his nation on a number of occasions during his playing career, including the 2000 World Cup.

Alongside him is Sydney Roosters head coach Trent Robinson, who is the director of rugby of FFRXIII.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Key Players:

Marc Sneyd is set to come into Wane’s side this week and will play an important role.

The 31-year-old’s kicking game and the way he can guide the team around the field will be vital.

He will comes in for either George Williams or Jack Welsby, who both impressed in the opening game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Meanwhile, Victor Radley was among England’s top performers in the Samoa victory and was named man of the match for his efforts in Newcastle.

Meanwhile, Morgan Escare will be important for France in the role of fullback.

Wigan Warriors Involvement:

After being named as 18th man last week, Kai Pearce-Paul is set to feature for England at the University of Bolton Stadium as Wane rotates his squad.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

John Bateman will also be involved after returning from his three-match ban.

On the second-rower, Wane said: “He’s a good leader John, he competes well. You just need to get the ball into his hands, there’s no point of giving him a really descriptive way of playing.

“He’s a natural rugby player, that’s what he adds to us and that’s his role this weekend.”

Meanwhile, Mike Cooper is not included in the 19-man squad.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Where to watch:

The game is being broadcast live on BBC Two, with coverage starting at 4.30pm.

Meanwhile, fans can listen on Radio 5 Sports Extra.