England play their second group game in the Rugby League World Cup against France with Shaun Wane’s men looking to build on a massive opening day win against Samoa.
At St James’ Park the buoyant hosts ran in ten tries in a surprisingly one-sided affair against a side regarded as one of the pre-tournament dark horses.
Dom Young and Elliott Whitehead registered a brace apiece and now their next test comes in the form of France.
They won their opening match 34-12 against tournament debutants Greece.
England vs France Betting Tips
Wane said he would make changes to his side and utilise the full squad throughout the group phase and he has stuck to his word.
In total, England have made seven changes to their 19-man squad for Saturday’s clash with Wigan Warriors forward John Bateman returning after completing a three-match ban, while winger Ryan Hall also comes in.
Andy Ackers, Joe Batchelor, Mikolaj Oledzki, Kai Pearce-Paul and Marc Sneyd are the others to join the squad.
Winger Tommy Makinson and forwards Mike McMeeken, Mike Cooper, Morgan Knowles and Matty Lees, are the players to make way, while captain Sam Tomkins may be rested and dropped from the final 17-man squad.
France have named the same squad that beat Greece with Super League stalwarts Morgan Escare and Fouad Yaha ones to watch.
England to win by 16-20 points @ 8/1
There were some murmurs prior to the tournament that England might underachieve due to a spate of injuries affecting Shaun Wane’s squad selection.
However, the 17 that featured against Samoa certainly quietened down those talks with a thumping good win versus a side who some tipped to beat England at St James’ Park.
Attacking-wise, England were outstanding and despite their team including a number of inexperienced internationals, they had enough to overwhelm the Samoans.
Next up is the challenge of France, whose squad is comprised of several players from Super League teams Catalans Dragons and Toulouse Olympique.
However, they are still relative rookies at this level and are currently ranked ninth in the world rankings, behind the likes of Fiji and Serbia.
Their best World Cup finish was third way back in 1972 and in 49 competitive matches against England, they have been beaten 40 times.
As a result, this should be a fairly comfortable victory for the hosts and France will need to put on a massive display to have a chance of winning.
Ryan Hall to score the first try @ 4/1
England have a huge number of players who could damage France on Saturday and that will be partly why Wane is confident enough to make several changes.
One man coming into the squad is Ryan of Hull KR, a player who has plenty of know-how to call upon from the international stage.
With 35 tries in 38 caps, no one has crossed the whitewash more often and his sheer experience will be invaluable as England navigate the French challenge.