Posted: Wednesday 20th October 2021

Evalds & McShane in side to take on France

England Head Coach Shaun Wane has named his side to take on France at Perpignan’s Stade Gilbert Brutus on Saturday (23 October, 2.30pm).

The news comes as a just reward to both Niall Evalds and Paul McShane for their outstanding efforts in 2021, and it will mark the duo getting their first official England international caps.

Paul McShane did gain his first England experience back in June against the Combined Nations All Stars but is set to receive his first cap on Saturday afternoon.

It’s been yet another remarkable season from the Tigers’ star hooker, which was highlighted in September when he was chosen as the winner of the Immortals Award at Castleford’s End of Season Awards Night, which was chosen by four of the greatest ever players for our club.

Niall Evalds is poised to be England’s #1 at fullback after a stellar first season in the Black & Amber colours of Castleford, scoring six tries and setting up a further 18. A highlight of Evalds’ season was winning the Lance Todd Trophy in the Challenge Cup Final, making him just the tenth man in history to receive the accolade on the losing side.

Wigan Warriors' John Bateman, whose 16 England caps make him the most experienced international in Wane’s 17, will captain a side containing eight players who will receive their first England international cap.

Set to receive their first cap are: Jordan Abdull (Hull KR); Tom Davies (Catalans Dragons); Niall Evalds (Castleford Tigers); Morgan Knowles (St Helens); Kruise Leeming (Leeds Rhinos); Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers); Mikolaj Oledzki (both Leeds Rhinos); and Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves).

France versus England will be shown live on BBC TV on Saturday 23 October – part of an international double-header also featuring the England Women’s team against their French counterparts.

The Women’s match will be shown live on BBC2 with a midday kick-off UK-time – the first England Women’s international to be broadcast on terrestrial TV – followed by live coverage of the Men’s international on BBC1 at 2.30pm.

England Head Coach, Shaun Wane, says: "There's a very positive mood in the camp, a great camaraderie. The lads have trained well and we're ready to go.

"We have some outstanding leaders in the team, including John Bateman who'll be captain. I’ve known John since he was a kid, I trust him, I know what he's capable of and he’s strong under pressure. And we have other strong leaders too, like Jonny Lomax in the halves and Mike Cooper in the front row.

"This is also a chance for the players to put a marker down for the world cup. Some of them haven't featured in an England set up before and I'm really excited for them. Representing your country is a dream and I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do in an England shirt."

England team in full: Niall Evalds (Castleford Tigers); Tom Davies (Catalans Dragons), Reece Lyne (Wakefield Trinity), Zak Hardaker (Wigan Warriors), Tommy Makinson (St Helens); Jonny Lomax (St Helens), Jordan Abdull (Hull KR); Alex Walmsley (St Helens), Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers), Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves); John Bateman (Wigan Warriors, Capt.), Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors); Morgan Knowles (St Helens). Interchanges: Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves); Kruise Leeming (Leeds Rhinos); Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos); Joe Philbin (Warrington Wolves)

England last played France in October 2018, claiming a comfortable 44-6 victory at Leigh Sports Village.