John Bateman named captain of England for the clash against France; eight players to win the first caps

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John Bateman named captain of England for the clash against France; eight players to win the first caps


John Bateman to captain England in Saturday’s test match against France

John Bateman will lead an England squad that includes eight unselected players when they face France in Saturday’s international in Perpignan.

The injury-related absence of Sam Tomkins, who captained the team in the 26-24 loss to the United Nations All Stars in June, sees the Wigan Warriors being given the captain position.

Jordan Abdull, Tom Davies, Niall Evalds, Morgan Knowles, Kruise Leeming, Paul McShane, Mikolaj Oledzki and Joe Philbin are also set to win their first test selection after being named on Matchday 17 by head coach Shaun Wane.

“We have some outstanding leaders on the team, including John Bateman who will be captain,” said Wane, who previously coached Bateman at Wigan.

“I’ve known John since he was a kid, I trust him, I know what he’s capable of and he’s strong under pressure – and we have other strong leaders too, like Jonny Lomax in halftime and Mike Cooper in the front row.

“It’s also a chance for the players to set a milestone for the World Cup. Some of them have never played in an English setup before and I’m really excited for them. Representing your country is a dream and I can’t wait to see what they can do in an English shirt. “

Davies, Knowles, McShane and Oledzki have already donned an England jersey in the non-selection international against the Combined Nations, but it will be the first taste of the rugby league test match while representing the quartet’s national team.

I’ve known John since he was little, I trust him, I know what he’s capable of and he’s strong under pressure.

England head coach Shaun Wane on John Bateman

Catalan Dragons winger Davies lines up his club’s pitch at Stade Gilbert Brutus in a three-quarter line that also contains Wakefield Trinity cross Reece Lyne, Wigan’s Zak Hardaker and Tommy Makinson – one of four players of Super League champions St Helens in the squad.

Another of these is the former Welsh international Knowles, who freely signs up forward. McShane, Man of Steel in 2019, lines up on the hooker with Leeds Rhinos No.9 Leeming, who played for the Combined Nations against England, backing him from the bench after an impressive season.

Leeming’s teammate Oledzki also takes his place on the exchange bench with fellow striker, former Irish international and 2019 British tourist Philbin.

Evalds, winner of the Lance Todd Trophy in the Castleford Tigers ‘Challenge Cup final defeat to St Helens in July, takes Tomkins’ place at the back, while Man of Steel contender Abdull lines up in the semi. scrum alongside the opponent of the Saints Jonny Lomax.

Morgan Knowles is one of those set to win his first test cap for England after playing against the United Nations in June

Morgan Knowles is one of those set to win his first test cap for England after playing against the United Nations in June

Bateman, meanwhile, lines up alongside compatriot Wigan, Liam Farrell, in second place. Alex Walmsley and Mike Cooper have been given the starting prop roles, while back row Ben Currie is the other exchange player.

“There is a very positive atmosphere in the camp, a great camaraderie,” said Wane. “The guys have trained well and we’re good to go. “

The England team will face France

Niall Evalds (Tigres de Castleford); Tom Davies (Dragons catalans), Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity), Zak Hardaker (Wigan Warriors), Tommy Makinson (St Helens) ; Jonny Lomax (St Helens), Jordan Abdull (Hull Kingston Rovers); Alex Walmsley (St Helens), Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers), Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves), John Bateman (Wigan Warriors, capitaine), Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors), Morgan Knowles (St Helens).

Exchange: Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Kruise Leeming (Leeds Rhinos), Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos), Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves).

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