Mossop’s gunning for French

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LEE Mossop is planning to take seven weeks of frustration out on France this afternoon.

The Warriors prop has not played since dislocating his shoulder in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.

While he overcame that injury quite quickly, a hamstring problem derailed his hopes of featuring in Wigan’s play-off run.

Little surprise he is desperate to get the nod for the England Knights this afternoon for their international match against the French at Leigh Sports Village.

Mossop said: “It feels like ages since Wembley. It’s been a frustrating injury because I was hoping to get back, and then I had to hang on a week, then I was in the team (to face Catalan) and had to withdraw in the warm-up, so it’s been pretty annoying.

“I’m glad I’ve got these games, otherwise it’d probably be January or February before I played again.”

The Knights is the new name for the England A side, the second-string team of potential Test internationals, and coach Steve McNamara has made it clear he will be looking closely at today’s performances and won’t hesitate to thrust them into the Four Nations frame if he suffers any injuries to his front-line 24-man panel.

“To be honest, I was disappointed not to make the final cut,” admitted Mossop, who has been outstanding for Wigan in his first full season at prop.

“I thought I might be in with a chance, obviously my injury didn’t help.

“We’ll need to play well because France will be a tough test.

“Most of their squad comes from the Catalan Dragons, and we saw how well they did in Super League this year.

“They’ve got a big strong pack and they don’t mind throwing the ball around, so it’s going to be tough, no doubt about it.

“They will be gutted they’re not in the Four Nations competing against England, New Zealand and Australia.

“I’m sure they feel that’s where they belong and they’ll want to put in a good performance.”

Warriors team-mates Liam Farrell and Josh Charnley are also in the squad for today’s match.

The Knights – coached by Wigan-raised Keiron Purtill, the St Helens No.2 – will face Cumbria at Whitehaven a week today, a hastily-arranged fixture following Samoa’s decision to cancel their tour of these shores. Admission at Leigh is only £3 adults and £2 concessions.

Knights team: Stefan Ratchford (Salford); Josh Charnley (Wigan), Joe Arundel (Castleford), Kris Welham (Hull KR), Jodie Broughton (Salford); Richie Myler (Warrington), Matty Smith (Salford); Ben Harrison (Warrington), Danny Houghton (Hull FC) Lee Mossop (Wigan), Joe Westerman (C) (Hull FC), Ben Westwood (Warrington), Liam Farrell (Wigan), Luke Gale (Harlequins RL), Paul Clough (St Helens), Mike Cooper (Warrington) Liam Watts (Hull KR).