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England to field debutant trio

11/06/2010 06:06:48 AM Comments (0)

England coach Steve McNamara included three debutants when he named his side on Thursday to play France in a rugby league international at Leigh this weekend.

Huddersfield five-eighth Kevin Brown, a late replacement for the injured Danny McGuire, gets his chance as does fullback Gareth Widdop, now with Australia's Melbourne Storm.

And the uncapped Joel Tomkins will be the bench. Younger brother Sam is set to start at scrum-half with the Tomkins the first siblings to play for the national side since Paul and David Hulme in 1989.

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield, who plays loose forward and stand-off for the Super League champions, has been selected at hooker after starring in that position during last year's Four Nations.

France coach Bobbie Goulding saw Toulouse centre Vincent Duport and Catalans Dragons winger/fullback Vincent Duport become the latest players to pull out of an already injury-hit squad for the match in north-west England.

Former Great Britain, as England were known, international Goulding is set to give debuts to halfbacks Tony Gigot, who joined Catalans from Harlequins in the winter, and Nicolas Munoz, one of three representatives from French champions and cup winners Lezignan.

"I've watched him four or five times this year and he's been instrumental in everything Lezignan have achieved," Goulding said of Munoz.

"He's a real good player with an astute kicking game and he's got good hands as well. There are a lot of players in France who could step up to the next level and he's one of them."

Teams (1-17)

ENGLAND: Gareth Widdop, Tom Briscoe, Chris Bridge, Michael Shenton, Ryan Hall, Kevin Brown, Sam Tomkins, James Graham, Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock (capt), Gareth Ellis, Sam Burgess, Sean O'Loughlin

Interchange: James Roby, Adrian Morley, Ben Westwood, Joel Tomkins

18th man: Nick Scruton

FRANCE: Constant Villegas, Nicolas Piquemal, Cyril Gossard, Sebastien Raguin, Frederic Vaccari, Tony Gigot, Nicolas Munoz, David Ferriol, Gregory Mounis, Remi Casty, Olivier Elima (capt), Jamal Fakir, Andrew Bentley

Interchange (from): William Barthau, Mathieu Griffi, Florian Quintilla, Michael Simon, Yoan Tisseyre, Julien Touxagas

Referee: Leon Williamson (NZL)

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