France approached England for mid-season international

James Gordon

France made an approach to play England in this year’s international window, but were told the Exiles game had already been agreed.

Still not announced officially, the Exiles concept is to be revitalised with a match against England expected to be at Headingley on Friday June 25.

It will be England’s first match under new coach Shaun Wane, and their first since the 34-0 defeat to New Zealand on November 11, 2018.

New French Federation President Luc Lacoste has recently appointed Laurent Frayssinous and Trent Robinson in an eye-catching shake-up of the France national team.

His election back in December came too late to arrange a fixture for them against England for 2021.

He is keen to re-establish regular international matches between the two nations and it is believed that ambition has been reciprocated by RFL chief Ralph Rimmer.

France have managed to score just one try in each of their last seven games against England.

That included 34-6 and 36-6 defeats at the last two World Cups.

The closest they came was a 32-18 defeat in Avignon in 2011, in front of a crowd of almost 17,000.

The two sides are to meet in the group stages of the 2021 World Cup, on Saturday October 30 at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The ongoing uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic means there are still as yet no confirmed international fixtures in the calendar ahead of the tournament kick-off on October 23.