England to play France in warm-up game at Leigh ahead of Autumn Test Series

Drew Darbyshire

England will face France at Leigh Sports Village in preparation for the Autumn International Series against New Zealand.

The warm-up clash will take place on Wednesday, October 17 (7:45pm) at Leigh Sports Village.

On Saturday, England beat the Kiwis 36-18 in front of a crowd of 19,320 in Denver, in the first international rugby league game to be staged in the USA for 18 years.

The warm-up game against France will be the first time England supporters will be able to watch the World Cup finalists in action in this country since the 2016 Four Nations.

England and France last met in their final group stage gamer of the World Cup last year, with England running out 36-6 winners.

In 2015, Leigh Sports Village hosted England v France as a warm-up fixture to the Autumn International Series against the Kiwis that saw England lift the Baskerville Shield.

Rugby Football League director of rugby Kevin Sinfield said: “2018 is a hugely important year for England Rugby League and the mid-season test against Denver was the first step in building on the success of reaching the World Cup final in 2017.

“The Denver Test showed the appetite for International Rugby League away from the UK and Australia and the victory against New Zealand showed that we’re heading in the right direction as a team.

“The French Tests have been good for us over the last couple of years and it’s great to have another game lined up on home soil ahead of the Autumn Series. It will give the team the chance to regroup after the end of the season before we face New Zealand again.”