England Academy to face France in Warrington

England Academy will take on France at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Tuesday, 2nd July (KO 7.30pm) – three days after the senior Men’s and Women’s sides face the French in Toulouse.

The best of England’s emerging talent won 33-20 on a hot and humid evening in the south of France last year, with Leeds Rhinos duo Jack Sinfield and Neil Tchamambe among the stand-out performers. Head coach Paul Anderson will be looking for a repeat performance from the best of this year’s Academy crop.

Last July, five of our Saints Academy players featured for England in the win over France, they were; Leon Cowen, Jonny Vaughan, Harry Robertson and Owen Dagnall – with Vaughan also serving as captain too.

England Academy Head coach Paul Anderson said: “What we achieved in Saint-Gaudens last year was down to the work put in across the whole development pathway – from club and county of origin, through to England Knights and the senior set up. The likes of George Williams and Jack Welsby are graduates of this pathway.

“Complementing these strong foundations was how we prepared in camp prior to the match. We’ll repeat the camp experience again this year so that our best players are exposed to the kind of environment they might experience at senior level and are ready for another stern test from the French.

“We led 22-4 at one point last year, but France pulled back to within two points with 10 minutes remaining. It was hot and sticky and we were running out of numbers, but we found an extra gear just when we needed it. At this level it’s about learning and development, and the players learned a lot about handling pressure and digging deep in the face of adversity. The players need the challenge and hopefully France will provide it. It will be a fantastic experience and places are up for grabs.”

The Academy competition is currently two rounds in. A number of first team squad members from all teams have already played in the competition and England’s squad is certain to feature some players with first team experience. Anderson will select his squad after Round 7, which takes place on Saturday, 22nd June.

Admission at the Halliwell Jones Stadium is just £5 for adults and £2 for children, payable on the gate.

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