17 Oct 2021

France squads to face England Men and Women announced

France squads to face England Men and Women announced

The success of Catalans Dragons and Toulouse Olympique in 2021 is reflected in the France team to face Shaun Wane’s England in next Saturday’s one-off Test in Perpignan.

Despite the unavailability through injury of key forwards Ben Garcia and Julian Bousquet, the Dragons have 10 players in the 20-man squad which has been selected by France coach Laurent Frayssinous - including exciting youngsters Matthieu Laguerre and Arthur Mourgue.

Toulouse have nine members of the squad which has ensured they will join the Dragons in the Betfred Super League in 2022 - including the former Catalans star Tony Gigot, their Australian-born full-back Mark Kheirallah who has long since qualified in residency, and Mathieu Jussaume, one of the stars of their promotion-sealing win against Featherstone.

Morgan Escare, the former Catalans and Wigan full-back who now plays for the Salford Red Devils, completes the 20.

In contrast the France Women’s squad who will also face England in the first match of the double header at the Stade Gilbert Brutus draws players from seven clubs - although again the Déesses Catalanes and Toulouse Ovalie are well-represented, with other players from Marseille, Bordeaux and a strong representation from Racing Club Lescure Arthes XIII.

Frayssinous said: "This is a good quality group despite some missing with injury. It combines experience and youth with 10 players who are likely to celebrate their first selection in blue.

"This Test Match against England is the start of our new planning for the 2022 World Cup and I am confident that we will give the English a challenge."

France are in the same group as England for RLWC2021 in the Men’s tournament, with Samoa and Greece, adding extra interest to the fixture - which will be shown live on BBC1.

England and France are in different groups in the Women’s tournament, but this remains an important fixture both for the England head coach Craig Richards and for France’s Vincent Baloup - with groundbreaking live coverage on BBC2 to continue the recent progress of Women's Rugby League.

England’s squads will be named over the next two days, with France also to confirm who will take over as their national captain following the retirement of Remi Casty.

France squads to face England at Stade Gilbert Brutus, Perpignan, on Saturday October 23


Toulouse Olympique XIII -
Ilias Bergal
Tony Gigot
Mathieu Jussaume
Mark Kheirallah
Anthony Marion
Romain Navarrete
Eloi Pélissier
Maxime Puech
Justin Sangaré

Catalans Dragons
Mathieu Cozza
Jordan Dezaria
Mickael Goudemand
Benjamin Jullien
Matthiieu Laguerre
Corentin Le Cam
Arthur Mourgue
César Rougé
Paul Séguier
Fouad Yaha

Salford Red Devils
Morgan Escaré


Pia Baroudeuses
Elodie Pacull

Limoux Grizzgirls
Lauriane Canet

Déesses Catalanes
Elisa Akpa
Leila Bessalhi
Mélanie Bianchini
Fanny Ramos
Zoé Pastre-Courtine
Christina Song-Puche

Rc Lescure Arthes 13
Gaëlle Alvherne
Jeanne Bernard
Laureane Biville
Elisa Ciria
Perrine Montsarrat
Manon Samarra

Toulouse Ovalie
Inès Legout
Cyndia Mansard
Nadia Olm-Rouppert
Alice Varela

Girondins De Bordeaux
Tallis Kuresa

Marseille XIII Avenir
Mailys Borak

The referees of the two test matches have also been confirmed. Benjamin Casty will be at the whistle of the men's clash, and the women's tie will be refereed by Andrew Pilkington.

Casty, a former player, has been a referee at international level since 2014. He officiated in the Final of the French Championship as well as in the Final of the Coupe de France in recent years and regularly referees in the Elite championship.

Stuart Cummings, IRL Match Officials Manager, welcomed the appointment of the FFRXIII referee, saying: “Benjamin Casty is the only Elite Panel member to officiate this time around. We would have liked to appoint a neutral referee for the France-England game, but travel restrictions hampered that.

"However, Ben is certainly ready for this game. He's a good referee with a lot of experience and as a former player he respects and knows the game inside and out."

France vs England Women Match Officials:

  • Referee: Andrew Pilkington
  • Touch Judges: Mickaël Lannes, Kevin De La Rose
  • Video Referee: Robert Hicks

France vs England Men Match Officials:

  • Referee: Benjamin Casty
  • Touch Judges: Stéphane Vincent, Geoffrey Poumès
  • Video Referee: Robert Hicks