England v France: Teams

At Leigh Sports Village, Saturday June 12, kick-off 5.15pm

Last updated: 12th June 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

England v France: Teams

McNamara: Hands out debuts

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New England coach Steve McNamara has included three debutants in his side to face France in Leigh on Saturday.

Huddersfield stand-off Kevin Brown will make an international bow after being drafted into the squad as a replacement for injured Leeds Rhinos player Danny McGuire.

Brown will form a half-back partnership with Wigan's Sam Tomkins, whose older brother Joel is included on the bench.

Gareth Widdop, who is not yet a regular for his NRL side Melbourne Storm, has also been thrown straight into the starting line-up.

The match will be McNamara's first at the helm after being named as Tony Smith's successor in April.

New boys

And the Bradford coach has not been afraid to add new names to the set-up, although a host of players who featured in last year's Four Nations will also start against France.

Another new boy, Bradford prop Nick Scruton, was the man who missed out when McNamara finalised his 18-man match-day squad.

"Nick's progression has been very good," the England boss said.

"He now needs to keep on improving and try and push himself into a starting spot for England."

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield will continue at hooker after impressing in that role during the Four Nations.

Replacements

France coach Bobbie Goulding has also been forced to call in replacements after Dimitri Pelo and Vincent Duport became the latest injury withdrawals.

William Barthau made a late arrival in Manchester on Saturday and will start on the bench against England.

Goulding will hand debuts to half-backs Tony Gigot and Nicolas Munoz, who is one of two starters from French champions and cup winners Lezignan.

"I've watched him four or five times this year and he's been instrumental in everything Lezignan have achieved," Goulding said of Munoz.

"He's a real good player with an astute kicking game and he's got good hands as well.

"There are a lot of players in France who could step up to the next level and he's one of them."

England: G Widdop (Melbourne); T Briscoe (Hull), C Bridge (Warrington), M Shenton (Castleford), R Hall (Leeds); K Brown (Huddersfield), S Tomkins (Wigan); J Graham (St Helens), K Sinfield (Leeds), J Peacock (Leeds, capt), G Ellis (Wests Tigers), S Burgess (South Sydney), S O'Loughlin (Wigan).
Replacements: J Roby (St Helens), A Morley (Warrington), B Westwood (Warrington), J Tomkins (Wigan).

France: C Villegas (Toulouse); N Piquemal (Lezignan), C Gossard (Catalans), S Raguin (Catalans), F Vaccari (Catalans); T Gigot (Catalans), N Munoz (Lezignan), D Ferriol (Catalans), G Mounis (Catalans), R Casty (Catalans), O Elima (Catalans, capt), J Fakir (Catalans), A Bentley (Catalans).
Replacements (from): W Barthau (Catalans), M Griffi (Toulouse), F Quintilla(Lezignan), M Simon (Catalans), Y Tisseyre (Toulouse), J Touxagas (Catalans).

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