England v France: Team news, try scorers, key moments & TV coverage

Drew Darbyshire
England v France at Halliwell Jones Stadium News Images

Photo: Steve Flynn/News Images

England are taking on France in an international double-header at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington this afternoon.

Love Rugby League deputy editor Drew Darbyshire is covering both games in Cheshire this afternoon, so we will be providing live updates via this matchday blog.

We will be covering team news, try scorers, key moments and all the best bits, so keep refreshing and get involved with the debate on our Facebook and Twitter socials.

The men’s and the women’s games are being broadcast live on Sky Sports.

England v France: Men’s

Ash Handley England News Images
Photo: Steve Flynn/News Images

England coach Shaun Wane handed debuts to 13 players – Ash Handley, Tom Holroyd (Leeds), Toby King, Jake Wardle, Harry Smith, Ethan Havard, Morgan Smithies (all Wigan), Matty Ashton, Danny Walker, Matty Nicholson, James Harrison (all Warrington), Jez Litten (Hull KR) and Tyler Dupree (Salford).

Meanwhile, Catalans provided nine players for the French side.

It was a dream start for England, who scored inside the fourth minute as Ash Handley latched on to a lovely chip from captain George Williams to score.

Play was stopped for a couple of minutes midway through the first half after a couple of England and France players slid straight through the advertising hoardings as they chases down a kick. Thankfully, all players were okay and resumed play.

England extended their lead in the 21st minute when Harry Smith showed great support play for a break from his team-mate Jake Wardle. Smith converted his own try.

Wane’s side were piling pressure on France’s defence in the first half and got their third try through Bulgaria-born prop Ethan Havard.

England were in cruise control in the first 40, with Wardle extending their lead as he dived over in the corner. Smith converted to give his side a 24-0 lead.

A break from Handley down the right flank saw him assist the supporting George Williams, with the newly-appointed skipper flying over.

Leeds winger Handley got his second of the game just before half-time thanks to a superb cut-out pass from Williams. Smith converted to put his side 36-0 in front at the break.

England comfortable at half-time

It was a slow start to the second half, with France certainly making more of a fist of it in the second 40.

Williams got his second of the afternoon in the 55th minute as he showed some good support play for a Handley break.

Handley completed his hat-trick on the hour mark as he managed to collect Williams’ chip and somehow get the ball grounded without going in to touch.

The Lions were in complete control in the second half and scored another through Kai Pearce-Paul, with Smith converting to give his side a 52-0 lead.

Captain Williams completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute when he again supported a flying break from Handley.

England wrapped up the victory late on thanks to a try from debutant Walker. Williams added the goal to seal a comfortable 64-0 win for England in Warrington.

England: Welsby; Handley, King, Wardle, Ashton; Williams, Smith; Holroyd, Walker, Havard, Nicholson, Pearce-Paul, Smithies. Subs: Litten, Harrison, Currie, Dupree. 18th player: Thewlis. Coach: Wane.

Tries: Handley (3), Smith, Havard, Wardle, Williams (3), Pearce-Paul, Walker Goals: Smith 9, Williams 1

France: Zenon; Romano, Langi, Laguerre, Marcon; Mourgue, Rouge; Chan, Marion, Marion, Vailhen, Jullien, Cozza, Goudemand. Subs: Tison, Sangare, Scimone, Jouffret. 18th player: Jussaume. Coach: Frayssinous.

Tries: Goals:

Attendance: 8,422

England v France: Women’s

Leah Burke England v France News Images
Photo: Steve Flynn/News Images

St Helens stalwart Jodie Cunningham will lead her country for the first time since being appointed captain by new head coach Stuart Barrow, who will also be taking charge of his country for the first time.

Eyes will be on NRLW bound duo Georgia Roche and Hollie Dodd, turning out for England before they become full-time professionals Down Under.

There are some popular returnees to the England fold too, in York duo Sinead Peach and Tamzin Renouf, surprisingly overlooked for the past three years.

It was a poor start from the French, who came up with an error straight from kick-off. England capitalised on the early error, and opened the scoring through winger Leah Burke.

Saints winger Burke got her second in the ninth minute as France struggled to deal with England’s quick passing plays.

England were making easy metres in their sets in the first half, and there was no stopping powerful front-rower Shona Hoyle from close range. Reigning Woman of Steel Tara Jane Stanley successfully kicked her first conversion of the afternoon.

In the 24th minute, York star Renouf raced down the right flank to extend England’s lead, with Stanley nailing the goal from the touchline to put her side 20-0 ahead.

St Helens winger Eboni Partington went over for England on the half hour mark thanks to a nice lay off from Renouf.

Influential full-back Stanley got her name on the scoresheet in the latter stages of the first half, in which she converted.

The Lionesses led 30-0 at half-time thanks to a very impressive first half performance.

England 30-0 ahead at the break

Barrow’s side started the second half just as they did in the first. Dodd, who has recently signed professional terms in the NRLW with Canberra, burst over the line.

Burke completed her hat-trick in the 47th minute as she latched onto a lovely weighted chip from Stanley, but they were 40-0 up.

The impressive Dodd got her second try of the afternoon as she punched a hole in the French defence to score under the posts, with Stanley converting.

York hooker Peach marked her comeback in to the England side with a trademark scoot from dummy half. Stanley converted to put her side 52-0 in front.

Burke bagged her fourth of the afternoon in the final quarter as the rain poured down in Warrington, with Stanley adding the extras.

Leeds powerhouse Amy Hardcastle wrapped up the victory two minutes from time. Stanley’s conversion saw England finish 64-0 at a sodden Halliwell Jones Stadium.

England: Stanley; Partington, Renouf, Hardcastle, Burke; Harris, Roche; Wood, Bennett, Hoyle, Rudge, Dodd, Cunningham. Subs: Peach, Whitfield, Field, Molyneux. 18th player: Jones. Coach: Barrow.

Tries: Burke (4), Hoyle, Renouf, Partington, Stanley, Dodd (2), Peach, Hardcastle Goals: Stanley 8

France: M Samarra; Ramazeilles, Biville, Guillerot, Canal; Pommier, Canet, Legout, Ramos, Zaghdoudi, Akpa, Kuresa, D Samarra. Subs: Michel, Menaa, Segala, Roses. 18th player: Vilanove. Coach: Maillot.

Tries: Goals:

Attendance: 4,500

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