Rugby League

England Wheelchair

25 Nov 2023

England Wheelchair defeat France in Marseille

England Wheelchair defeat France in Marseille

England stormed to a win against rivals France this afternoon in another fiery encounter between the two nations at the Palais des Sports in Marseille.

After suffering defeat at the firstdirect arena in Leeds three weeks ago, Tom Coyd’s side were back to their best and opened the scoring within five minutes and had a respectable 18-4 lead heading into the break.

There were some heated scenes later in the second half when France captain, Florian Guttadoro, was sent to the sin bin for grabbing Rob Hawkins wheel as he broke for the goal line - Player of the Match, Jack Brown, quickly took advantage to cross for England’s final try of the game with the score ending 14-34.

England were presented with the Fassolette-Kielty Trophy, which is awarded to the winners of every France-England fixture in tribute to Robert Fassolette and Malcolm Kielty MBE, the two key figures in establishing Wheelchair Rugby League on either side of the Channel.

After the game, England Wheelchair Rugby League Head Coach, Tom Coyd explained: “Our performance today was the perfect way to respond to a really tough lesson against France back at home in Leeds. This is only the second time France have been beaten on home soil – the first time also against England in 2019 – so we’ve made history.

“The players are adapting to the external pressure that grows each time that we take to the field - we have such a presence and there’s expectations put on us by things both on and off the pitch. I think the players learnt a lot from the gravity of the event when we played at Leeds, and we dealt with the occasion much better today.

“Throughout the game we stayed connected, everyone backed each other, and we didn’t respond to any of the opposition’s aggressions. We defended well today, and we really shut them down. Bourson looked untouchable during the last game but today I don’t think he made one break.”

France 14 England 34

Half-time: 4-18

Player of the Match: Jack Brown

England: Tom Halliwell (captain), Jack Brown, Josh Butler, Wayne Boardman, Nathan Collins, Joe Coyd, Rob Hawkins, Lewis King 

France: Florian Guttadoro (captain), Mostefa Abassi, Lionel Alazard , Jérémy Bourson, Damien Dore, Lemaitre, Yann Verdi, Adrien Zittel