England Women will be in action for the first time over 12 months when they take on France in a one-match test today.
New head coach, Craig Richards, has named 10 uncapped players in his squad as he looks to build a team for the 2021 World Cup.
Richards said; “Everything we do is building towards 2021. We picked on form but we also recognise that we don’t build a squad or a team overnight. We named ten debutants and the key thing about that was picking the players who really shone in the Origin games and in Super League.”
Amongst the debutants are 18-year-old Woman of Steel Georgia Roche and 16-year-old Leeds Rhinos star, Caitlin Beevers. Both Roche and Beevers will be joined by a number of their team-mates as Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos make up almost half of the entire England squad. Grand Final winners Wigan Warriors, only have two players representing them.
This will be England’s first game since the 2017 World Cup and the first for new head coach. The new man in charge has admitted that he is more focused on his side rather than the opposition saying: “We’ve not focused a lot on France. We’re trying to build something within the England performance unit and the women’s team and it’s got to be about us coming together, us producing a performance we’re happy with.
“I think just as the World Cup, we’re going to have to be reactive to what the French have got. Just like you would do in a World Cup game, you have to be reactive to the changes.”
The game with France will kick off at 1pm and will be a part of a double header which includes the men’s European Championship clash between France and Wales.