France set to be without key trio for England test

Ben Garcia in action for Catalans
Ben Garcia in action for Catalans

France coach Laurent Frayssinous’s plans to announce his captain for the test match against England in Perpignan on October 23 have been thrown into disarray.

Catalans Dragons skipper Ben Garcia was set to be unveiled as France’s new captain following his club’s inaugural appearance in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.But he was ruled out of the end-of-season international by his club coach Steve McNamara after sustaining a badly broken hand during the Dragons’ 12-10 defeat by St Helens.

Frayssinous had already been denied the services of Theo Fages, who led France at the 2017 World Cup, after the St Helens scrum-half underwent surgery for a shoulder he broke in the Challenge Cup final in July.

And Frayssinous also expects to be without experienced Catalans front-row forward Jullien Bousquet after he picked up an injury in the bruising encounter against Saints.

“Ben and Theo Fages were my choice for captain with Bousquet as a back-up option so I’ll have to have a rethink,” said Frayssinous.

READ: Ben Garcia proud to see French rugby league in the spotlight

England are also expected to lose their captain, with Catalans full-back Sam Tomkins still troubled by a knee injury which made him a doubt for the Grand Final. Shaun Wane will name his England squad next Sunday.

England Knights squad named to face Jamaica

Meanwhile, England Knights coach Paul Anderson has named a 20-man squad to take on Jamaica on Friday evening.

Will Pryce, who burst onto the Super League scene with Huddersfield in 2021, scoring six tries in Huddersfield’s last 13 matches of the season, is one of five teenagers named by coach Paul Anderson, who is placing the emphasis on youth with a eye on the 2025 World Cup.

The squad includes 17-year-old Leeds centre Levi Edwards and 20-year-old former Croydon Hurricanes forward Kai Pearce-Paul, who made a big impact with Wigan in 2021.

St Helens’ Grand Final winners Lewis Dodd and Matty Lees will undertake fitness checks before joining the squad later in the week.

England Knights squad to face Jamaica: Matty Ashton, Ellis Longstaff, Danny Walker, Connor Wrench (Warrington), Jack Broadbent, Levi Edwards, Morgan Gannon, Tom Holroyd (Leeds), Lewis Dodd, Matty Lees, Aaron Smith (St Helens), Matty English, Will Pryce, Olly Wilson (Huddersfield), Sam Halsall, Liam Marshall, James McDonnell, Kai Pearce-Paul (Wigan), George Lawler, Mikey Lewis (Hull KR).

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