THREE players, including Castleford Tigers half-back Rangi Chase, will make their Test debuts when England face France in Friday’s international in Avignon, kick-off 8.45pm (local time).
England coach Steve McNamara today confirmed a debut for newly qualified Tigers star Chase, who will start the match at scrum-half, partnering Leeds Rhinos Kevin Sinfield in a strong half-back combination.
Brisbane Broncos’ Jack Reed will make his first international start after being named in the centres alongside Hull FC’s Kirk Yeaman, who will be making his first international appearance since November 2007 when he played for Great Britain in a 28-22 victory over New Zealand in Wigan. Wests Tigers Chris Heighington is the third debutant and will start the game at loose forward, with Warrington Wolves’ Ben Westwood and Wests’ Castleford-born Gareth Ellis making up the rest of the back row.
“The players have trained really well all week and we are looking forward to taking on France as we continue our preparations ahead of the Gillette Four Nations,” said national coach Steve McNamara.
“The make-up of the side looks very exciting, with the right blend of youth and experience. There is a great opportunity for the players to really push on and stake a claim for a start against Wales the following week.
“I have also been pleased with the attitude of the players that haven’t made the side this week. They are working hard in training and will come into contention as the Four Nations gets underway.”
England start their Gillette Four Nations campaign on Saturday October 29 when they take on Wales at Leigh Sports Village (2.30pm) with tickets priced at just £10 adults and £5 concessions.
The tournament moves to Wembley Stadium on Saturday November 5 when Wales face New Zealand at 1.00pm before England clash with Australia at 3.30pm.
England’s remaining game against New Zealand will be played at the KC Stadium in Hull on Saturday November 12 (6.00pm) and tickets are priced from £20 adult and £10 concession.
The 2011 Gillette Four Nations final will be played at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday November 19 (6.00pm) and tickets are priced from £20 Adult and £10 concession.
Tickets for the 2011 Gillette Four Nations can be purchased by calling 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk