Wayne Bennett's first England game against France in October
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 04/08/16 4:42pm
Wayne Bennett's first game in charge of England will be against Richard Agar's France at the Parc des Sports in Avignon on Saturday, October 22.
It will be England's only match ahead of the 2016 Four Nations Series opener versus New Zealand at Huddersfield's John Smith's Stadium a week later.
England won 84-4 in the last meeting between the two teams at Leigh Sports Village last October but the French are sure to be more competitive on home soil.
Under Steve McNamara, England gained a 32-18 win over France in Avignon in 2011, when newly-appointed team manager Jamie Peacock led the team out in front of the near-capacity 16,866 crowd at Parc des Sports.
"I can imagine that they were disappointed with how things went when we met them last year," Bennett said. "When you play a side at their stadium and in front of their fans, then things can change.
"There's a lot of pride on the line and an added pressure of doing your best for your country."
Bennett, who was appointed as McNamara's successor in February, addressed last year's Super League-based squad during a whistle-stop trip to England in June but is not due to meet up with them again until seeing his Brisbane Broncos team to the end of the NRL season.
"This is my first opportunity to see the squad in action and I feel an away game is good preparation to see how everyone comes together in a new environment," Bennett added.
"The Four Nations is getting closer and I'm happy with how England's plans are going so far."
Parc des Sports has hosted rugby league games since 1982 and France played New Zealand there in the 2013 World Cup and Scotland in the 2015 European Cup.