Sam seeks French polish

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SAM Tomkins hopes England can lay down a marker of their Four Nations ambitions tonight.

Steve McNamara’s outfit take on France in a warm-up game before the tournament against Wales, Australia and New Zealand begins the following week.

They are expected to ease to victory in Avignon this evening but Tomkins says they are looking for a dominant display to underline their international credentials.

He said: “Everyone wants to play well against France and impress Macca enough to get a shot against Wales.

“I don’t think there’ll be anyone in the squad who is expecting to be just handed a shirt for the Wales game.

“There’s too much competition in the squad for that to happen.”

Tomkins has been named at full-back for tonight’s game, which is live on Sky Sports (kick-off 7.45pm).

France were beaten 38-18 by England’s second-string – the Knights – last weekend and few expect them to present any real problems to the English outfit.

Tomkins – the only Wigan player in the team tonight, after MIke McIlorum was omitted – said: “The French played against our Knights last week, and the Knights played really well to get the win.

“I’m sure it’ll be a case of the French lads getting a bit of a rollicking in the week and we’re expecting them to play a whole lot better this weekend.

“They’re always a different kettle of fish on home soil, and we’ll have to be on our game to win.”

France’s pack contains five players from Catalan Dragons as well as Bradford’s Olivier Elima, and coach Bobbie Goulding – the ex-Wigan halfback – will be relying on his big men to try and quell the visitors’ fire.

Tomkins added: “The French always pride themselves on being a tough, physical side.

“But if you look at our pack, you’d be daft to think we’re going to be roughed up or pushed off the ball. We’ve got a really strong set of forwards with some big names, some big blokes, who will stand up for themselves against anyone.”