Three to make debut for England this Friday
Three players will make their Test debuts when England face France in Friday’s international in Avignon.
England coach Steve McNamara today confirmed debuts for Castleford Tigers half-back Rangi Chase, who will start the match at scrum-half partnering Leeds Rhinos Kevin Sinfield in a strong half-back combination.
Brisbane Broncos Jack Reed will make his first international start after being named in the centres alongside Hull FC’s Kirk Yeaman, who will be making his first international appearance since November 2007 when he played for Great Britain in a 28-22 victory over New Zealand in Wigan. Wests Tigers Chris Heighington is the third debutant and will start the game at loose forward, with Warrington Wolves Ben Westwood and Wests Gareth Ellis making up the rest of the back row.
“The players have trained really well all week and we are looking forward to taking on France as we continue our preparations ahead of the Gillette Four Nations,” said national coach Steve McNamara.
“The make-up of the side looks very exciting, with the right blend of youth and experience. There is a great opportunity for the players to really push on and stake a claim for a start against Wales the following week.
“I have also been pleased with the attitude of the players that haven’t made the side this week. They are working hard in training and will come into contention as the Four Nations gets underway.”
The England team to face France at Avignon on Friday October 21 is as follows (professional club and community club in brackets):
1. Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors)
2. Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos)
3. Jack Reed (Brisbane Broncos)
4. Kirk Yeaman (Hull FC)
5. Tom Briscoe (Hull FC)
6. Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos)
7. Rangi Chase (Castleford Tigers)
8. Jamie Peacock © (Leeds Rhinos)
9. James Roby (St Helens)
10. James Graham (St Helens)
11. Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers)
12. Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves)
13. Chris Heighington (Wests Tigers)
14. Gareth Widdop (Melbourne Storm)
15. Adrian Morley (Warrington Wolves)
16. Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds Rhinos)
17. Jon Wilkin (St Helens)