England vs. France: Rugby League World Cup Preparations in Full Swing

Developing a New Era: England Prepares for France Clash

With the 2026 Rugby League World Cup on the horizon, England’s Head Coach Shaun Wane is expected to field a youthful side when they take on France at the end of this month. Wane has openly acknowledged that established players like George Williams and Jack Welsby will likely miss out, signaling a shift towards nurturing the next generation of talent.

The absence of these seasoned campaigners means England will have a fresh spine combination, with the skipper’s armband potentially passed to a new leader. While Sky Sports pundit Barrie McDermott has called for Marc Sneyd‘s inclusion, Wane may prioritize the partnership of Harry Smith and Mikey Lewis, who impressed during the recent series against Tonga.

“Balancing inexperience with a handful of senior players will be crucial, as England brace for a tough test against a strong French side.”

Serious About Rugby League predicts the following 13 starters for the June 29th clash:

  1. Full-Back: Matty Ashton (Warrington Wolves)
  2. Wings: Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos), Liam Marshall (Wigan Warriors)
  3. Centers: Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos), Jake Wardle (Wigan Warriors)
  4. Half-Backs: Harry Smith (Wigan Warriors), Mikey Lewis (Hull KR)
  5. Hooker: Danny Walker (Warrington Wolves)
  6. Props: Tyler Dupree (Wigan Warriors), George Delaney (St Helens)
  7. Second-Rowers: Junior Nsemba (Wigan Warriors), Matty Nicholson (Warrington Wolves)
  8. Loose Forward: Elliot Minchella (Hull KR)

This young and dynamic squad, featuring a mix of rising stars and experienced campaigners, could pave the way for England’s success in the Ashes series and the 2026 Rugby League World Cup.

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