We look at what is being said and the news of the teams before the international women’s and men’s double on Saturday between England and France in Perpignan …
England Women: Back to where it all began
It has been 14 years since the England women’s team first entered the pitch for an international match and, on Saturday, they face the same opponents on this historic day when they face France (kick off at 12 p.m. UK time).
Vicky Molyneux was among the players who took part in this match in 2007 at the age of 18 and the Wigan Warriors forward is set to face the French this time around as the two sides face off in Perpignan.
The high school teacher, who was called up to Craig Richards’ squad for the mid-season international against Wales, was proud to just don an England shirt in that opener, but has noted enormous progress after his return to the national plateau. -up.
“It’s just how well we are taken care of, everything that the people watching the game don’t see behind the scenes and the support we get,” said Molyneaux.
“It’s not just Craig and the coaching staff, but you have strength and conditioners behind the scenes, sports psychologists, a wellness manager, and the team manager and side. administrative of it.
“We appreciate all the support we get, but it shows how far the game has progressed, to see how much we can help each other play the best game possible.”
England won 54-4 against France the last time the teams met in 2018 and although Molyneux has seen the progress the team has made in the past three years since that clash at Carcassonne, they s ‘expects hosts to make their own improvements as well.
“You would expect there to be some improvement as we got better,” Molyneux said.
“We’ve improved a lot as a team, so with the intensity and the fitness levels that we know we can play as a team, I hope they can’t match us in that regard.
“But we certainly won’t be complacent; we’re ready for a fight, ready for the fight and we’re going to give it all from the start whistle to the end.”
Andrade and Woosey ready for their England debut
Savannah Andrade and Rachael Woosey are both set to make their England debuts when the women’s team take on France.
England: Tara-Jane Stanley; Fran Goldthorp, Savannah Andrade, Amy Hardcastle, Caitlin Beevers; Jodie Cunningham, Beth Stott; Grace Field, Tara Jones, Chantelle Crowl, Emily Rudge (captain), Hollie Dodd, Vicky Molyneux.
Exchange: Shona Hoyle, Paige Travis, Vicky Whitfield, Rachael Woosey.
France: Elisa Ciria; Christina Song Puche, Mélanie Bianchini, Zoé Pastre Courtine, Manon Samarra; Elodie Pacull, Alice Varela; Jeanne Bernard, Cyndia Mansard, Gaëlle Alvherne, Elisa Akpa, Laureane Biville, Leila Bessahli.
Exchange (of): Fanny Ramos, Mailys Borak, Inès Legout, Tallis Kuresa, Lauriane Canet, Nadia Olm Ruppert, Perrine Montsarrat.
English men: Davies excited by the French revolution
Tom Davies knows from personal experience how the rugby league has developed in the south of France recently, having been part of the Catalan Dragons’ rise in recent years.
Davies helped the Catalans win the 2021 League Leaders Shield and reach a first Super League Grand Final, with his 14 tries for the Dragons also earning him a first call-up for the England senior squad.
The winger will win his first test selection at his home ground at Stade Gilbert Brutus when England face France on Saturday (kick-off at 2:30 p.m. UK time) and relish the boom hours for the 13-player code In the region.
“It’s gaining a lot of momentum right now, it’s really starting to take off there,” Davies said. “Toulouse won the championship and they are coming and we have won the league [Leaders’ Shield] this year so there is a big buzz.
“Children have a new hero in [Catalans full-back and Man of Steel] They and Sam Tomkins are going to get involved in the game now, so we’ll see the effect of that in 10 or 15 years.
“It’s even happening in the French top flight, you watch clubs like Lezignan, Limoux and St Esteve starting to build up and have good teams – obviously Jimmy Maloney is here next year and Jason Baitieri.
“If we can bring the French elite to the level of the Super League or the championship, that will only improve the game.”
It remains to be seen if this success at club level can translate into the national team, France not having beaten England since a 5-1 victory at Headingley in 1981 where a try from Hervé Guiraud and a penalty from José Moya were enough to seal the victory.
But while that success and the 25-18 victory over Great Britain at the same place in 1990 remain outliers, Davies is hopeful that there can be regular competitive matches between the two nations who will also face each other in the next year’s Rugby League group stages. World Cup.
“The Australians and New Zealanders get together every year for the Anzac test and, if we can get something like that with the French and have a competitive game, it will only improve both teams,” Davies said. “It tests us and gets the best of us and vice versa.”
England: Niall Evalds; Tom Davies, Reece Lyne, Zak Hardaker, Tommy Makinson; Jonny Lomax, Jordan Abdull; Alex Walmsley, Paul McShane, Mike Cooper, John Bateman (captain), Liam Farrell, Morgan Knowles.
Bateman Captains England; eight new selections to face France
John Bateman will lead an England squad that includes eight uncapped players when they face France on Saturday.
Exchange: Ben Currie, Kruise Leeming, Mikolaj Oledzki, Joe Philbin.
France: Marc Kheirallah; Ilias Bergal, Matthieu Laguerre, Mathieu Jussaume, Fouad Yaha; Arthur Mourgue, Tony Gigot (captain); Romain Navarrete, Marion, Jordan Dezaria, Benjamin Jullien, Paul Seguier, Mickael Goudemand.
Exchange (of): Eloi Pelissier, Maxime Puech, Justin Sangare, Corentin Le Cam, Mathieu Cozza, César Rouge, Morgan Escare.