England Wheelchair matchday squad revealed for first French clash

England Wheelchair head coach Tom Coyd has named his matchday squad for the first game of a two-match series against France.

Coyd has included in his team two players – Adam Rigby and Declan Roberts – from the newly-formed Wigan Warriors team, alongside established players such as Nathan Collins, Tom Halliwell and James Simpson from Leeds Rhinos.

France are the reigning world champions and will provide a stern test for England ahead of next year’s World Cup.

The match at Gillingham’s Medway Park Sports Centre will be shown live on the BBC Red Button from 6.30pm on Wednesday (10th November).

“This will probably be the most competitive series we will have experienced since we played in France back in 2019,” said boss Coyd.

“We have been working so hard throughout the pandemic and through to the end of last season, so it’s a fantastic chance to see for real whether what we have been working on has been worthwhile.

“I also think it’s a great opportunity to put this squad under some pressure, which will be a great learning experience as we build towards the World Cup.”

The players in the England squad who did not make the cut for the first match of the series will line up for England Knights on Friday against France Espoirs.

That also takes place at Medway, as does the second clash between England and France on Saturday, with a 4pm kick-off.

England squad

Sebastien Bechara (Catalans Dragons/Halifax Panthers), Nathan Collins (Leeds Rhinos), Joe Coyd (Argonauts), Tom Halliwell (Leeds Rhinos, Captain), Rob Hawkins (Halifax Panthers), Lewis King (Argonauts), Adam Rigby, Declan Roberts (both Wigan Warriors), James Simpson (Leeds Rhinos)

France squad

Lionel Alazard (Montauban), Jérémy Bourson, Gilles Clausells, Nicolas Clausells (all Dragons), Dany Denuwelaere (Montauban), Thomas Duhalde (Euskadi), Guillaume Mautz (Avignon), Julien Penella (Euskadi), Arno Vargas (Dragons), Adrien Zittel (Arbent)