Sinfield warns England of French threat

Kevin Sinfield has warned England to expect “a real challenge” from France at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium tonight.

Tonight’s game is the first in the Gillette Four Nations, with Australia and New Zealand playing tomorrow.

England beat France 66-12 in Paris in June but Sinfield expects a stronger team this time around.

“We know how tough they were that day,” he said. “Some of their players have been in fantastic form at the back end of the year and I think, with Bobbie in charge, he will get them fired up.

“They’re a big, strong outfit with some skill in there as well. They’re going to be very dangerous.

“I think the French will be a real challenge for us. It will be a good game to start with because they’re going to be very physical and strong.”

Sinfield is making his return to England action having missed the June win over France, while erstwhile teammate Lee Smith, soon to join Wasps, will also start.

Coach Tony Smith will start Tom Briscoe despite the youngster only joining the squad on Tuesday as replacement for the injured Sean O’Loughlin.

St Helens half back Kyle Eastmond makes his debut on the bench after scoring all Saints’ point sin the engage Super League Grand Final.

Smith has controversially not selected Sam Tomkins despite his Man of the Match performance in the 48-12 win over Wales, while Peter Fox also misses out.

England squad to play France:

S Briscoe (Hull KR), T Briscoe (Hull), L Smith (Leeds), M Shenton (Castleford), R Hall (Leeds), D McGuire (Leeds), R Myler (Salford), A Morley (Warrington), S Moore (Huddersfield), J Peacock (Leeds, capt), G Ellis (Wests Tigers), S Burgess (Bradford), K Sinfield (Leeds)

Subs: K Eastmond (St Helens), J Roby (St Helens), J Graham (St Helens), B Westwood (Warrington)

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