England Women take on France Women on Saturday at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium (KO 3:15 PM).
Saturday’s fixture is the first match of a double-header, with England men taking on a Combined Nations All Stars side.
Craig Richards’ side will be looking to build on their performance from Sunday, when they defeated a resilient Wales side 32-6.
Fran Goldthorp gave England an early lead as she crossed for a brace inside the opening quarter of the contest. Amy Hardcastle extent her career tally, after she broke through the Welsh defence to score in the corner. England added one more before half-time with Shona Hoyle’s try put England into a commanding 20-0 lead at the interval.
England added second half tries through Tara Jones and Hollie Dodd in the 32-6 victory.
For the fixture against France, Richards has named a 24-player squad. Due to no injuries suffered on Sunday, Richards’ names all 20 of the squad who were selected against Wales. Caitlin Beevers, Zoe Hornby, Keara Bennett and Courtney Winfield-Hill all are selected in the squad. Bennett and Winfield-Hill would be making their debuts, should they be selected in the matchday side.
The match on Saturday will be another opportunity for the players to showcase their talents and to play together as a side ahead of the World Cup at the end of the year.
Richards’ side will be facing their French counterparts for the second time in the last 12 months, as the two sides met at Catalans’ Stade Gilbert Brutus back in October 2021. That was the first meeting between the two countries since October 2018.
Hardcastle, Paige Travis and Emily Rudge all scored to put England into a commanding 16-0 lead at the interval.
Jodie Cunningham extended England lead, as she touched down inside the opening minute of the second half. St Helens teammates, Rudge and Tara Jones both added to the lead. Caitlin Beevers’ try continued the England dominance as the score extended to 40-0.
A consolation try from Melanie Bianchini inside the final minute, meant that France avoided the unwanted zero on the scoreboard.
France will make the trip to England for the first time since the 2013 World Cup. During the World Cup, they faced England twice losing on both occasions. The Blues suffered a 42-4 defeat in the round robin stage, with current England internationals Tara Stanley and Amy Hardcastle both were on the scoresheet at Batley. Meanwhile, Jodie Cunningham scored a brace in the third-place play-off as England produced a 54-0 victory at Hunslet’s South Leeds Stadium.
Craig Richards, England Women
“Three or four players were rested against Wales with France in mind. I think we have something strong to build on from Wales game.
“It is going to be a tough battle. We need fans to get there early, or by tickets if they haven’t bought any and get there to get behind the girls. I promise you; we won’t let you down.”
Watch the interview in full here.
“I think it is going to be a really tough game. France are a really strong, physical side and we just need to practise what we have done in team runs.
“France will be a really good team to prepare for the World Cup. They are a physical side and that is what we need for when we face the likes of New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea.”
Watch the interview in full here.
England: Dannielle Anderson (Leeds Rhinos), Caitlin Beevers (Leeds Rhinos), Keara Bennett, Leah Burke (St Helens), Caroline Collie (Bedford Tigers), Jodie Cunningham (St Helens), Hollie Dodd (York City Knights), Grace Field (York City Knights), Fran Goldthorp (Leeds Rhinos), Amy Hardcastle (St Helens), Zoe Harris (St Helens), Zoe Hornby (Leeds Rhinos), Shona Hoyle (St Helens), Tara Jones (St Helens), Bethan Oates (Huddersfield Giants), Georgia Roche (Leeds Rhinos), Emily Rudge © (St Helens), Tara Stanley (York City Knights), Beth Stott (St Helens), Paige Travis (St Helens), Vicky Whitfield (St Helens), Georgia Wilson (Wigan Warriors), Courtney Winfield-Hill (Leeds Rhinos), Olivia Wood (York City Knights)
France: AKPA Élisa Akpa (Déesses Catalanes),Gaelle Alvernhe (RC Lescure Arthès XIII), Jeanne Bernard (RC Lescure Arthès XIII), Leïla Bessahli (Déesses Catalanes), Lauréane Biville (RC Lescure Arthès XIII), Maïlys Borak (Déesses Catalanes), Margot Canal (Déesses Catalanes), Élisa Ciria (RC Lescure Arthès XIII), Anaïs Fourcroy (Déesses Catalanes), Cyndia Mansard (Toulouse Ovalie), Sarah Menaa (Déesses Catalanes), Perrine Monsarrat (RC Lescure Arthès XIII), Élodie Pacull (Déesses Catalanes), Fanny Ramos (Déesses Catalanes), Dorine Samarra (RC Lescure Arthès XIII), Manon Samarra (RC Lescure Arthès XIII), Cristina Song Puche (Déesses Catalanes), Alice Varela (Toulouse Ovalie)