Widdop expecting France to put up a fight on Saturday

England half-back Gareth Widdop believes that Saturday’s Test against France will be a much tougher proposition than many expect.

Wayne Bennett’s first game as national coach sees him take England to Avignon to take on the French in their one and only warm-up game before the Four Nations.

And Widdop insists that playing the French in their own backyard will be a tough ask as they gear up for next Saturday’s opening group game against New Zealand.

“Results haven’t gone their way or as they would probably have liked,” he said.

“But down there in France they’re a passionate bunch of men and the crowd will get behind them.

“It’s huge to have a big match down there in France. It will be a tough match, and we need to do what we need to do.

“It helps the boys that haven’t played for a few weeks get a game under their belt if selected.

“It will help with combinations ahead of the big games that follow, and we want to go out there, play well and put in a good performance.”