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Five Saints in England squad to face France

England Head Coach Shaun Wane has named five Saints in his 20-man squad for next Saturday’s international against France in Perpignan.

Tommy Makinson, Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley, Matty Lees and Morgan Knowles are the Saints included.

Prop Lees impressed in the England Knights team that defeated Jamaica 56-4 at Castleford on Friday night – on a night which saw Aaron Smith bag two tries.

There’s a first call-up for Hull KR’s former England Academy half-back Jordan Abdull, who caught the eye in 2021 as Rovers made the semi-final stage of Betfred Super League play-offs for the first time in eight years.

Castleford Tigers full-back Niall Evalds, the 2021 Lance Todd Trophy winner in the Betfred Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, could also be in line for his first full England cap.

Clark is one of several contenders missing through injury, including Catalans Dragons’ England captain and Super League Man of Steel Sam Tomkins, and Wane is also unable to call upon his Australia-based contingent.

England Head Coach Shaun Wane says: “Things are always going to be fluid up to a point with form and injuries, but I’m more than happy that we have the players to get the job done. Every player is in on merit and they know what’s expected of them. Each one is a credit to their club, they have adapted themselves well at training and bring a very positive mindset.  

“There’s no doubt it’s going to be tough. Catalans Dragons players dominate the French squad and their fans are fanatical. We’ll work hard in training this week and we’ll be raring to go come game day. The players are ready to do England proud.”

England squad

Jordan Abdull (Hull KR), Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Tom Davies (Catalans Dragons), Niall Evalds (Castleford Tigers), John Bateman (Wigan Warriors), Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves), Liam Farrell, Zak Hardaker (both Wigan Warriors), Morgan Knowles (St Helens), Kruise Leeming (Leeds Rhinos), Matty Lees, Jonny Lomax (both St Helens), Reece Lynne (Wakefield Trinity), Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers), Tommy Makinson (St Helens), Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos), Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos), Joe Philbin, Danny Walker (both Warrington Wolves), Alex Walmsley (St Helens).

France versus England will be shown live on BBC TV on Saturday 23 October – part of an international double-header also featuring the England Women’s team against their French counterparts. The Women’s match will be shown live on BBC2 with a midday kick-off UK-time – the first England Women’s international to be broadcast on terrestrial TV – followed by live coverage of the Men’s international on BBC1 at 2.30pm.

England last played France in October 2018, claiming a comfortable 44-6 victory at Leigh Sports Village.

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