England can win it – France coach tips hosts for World Cup glory

England can win it – France coach tips hosts for World Cup glory

France coach Laurent Frayssinous believes England can go on and lift the World Cup after watching them demolish his side 42-18 in Bolton.

Shaun Wane’s men followed up their 60-6 rout of Samoa with a clinical destruction of the French to effectively clinch their place in the quarter-finals with a group game to spare.

Winger Ryan Hall and Dom Young scored four tries between them but Frayssinous says England’s strength is spread across the board.

England v France – Rugby League World Cup – Group A – University of Bolton Stadium
Ryan Hall was in fine form, scoring two tries for England (Richard Sellers/PA)

“They have a massive pack of forwards, their back five could be the best in the comp – Tommy Makinson didn’t play tonight – and in their spine they have experienced and quality players,” he said.

“I am sure they will challenge Australia and New Zealand and will be able to beat them. They definitely can win the World Cup.”

England made the perfect start with Hall touching down twice inside the first 11 minutes to take his remarkable try tally for England to 37 in 39 appearances.

When Luke Thompson charged over for a third try, England led 18-0 but France struck back with tries through Arthur Mourgue and Eloi Pelissier before half-time and Wane appeared to be critical of his players during his half-time talk.

“I wasn’t angry,” insisted Wane. “I just knew we could do better.

England v France – Rugby League World Cup – Group A – University of Bolton Stadium
Shaun Wane watched his side make it two wins in a row (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I was frustrated because I thought in the first 20 minutes we were outstanding and in the second 20 we slightly went away from it but I don’t want to talk the French down.

“I thought the French were good, they challenged us. We knew after the highs of last week, it wasn’t going to be plain sailing but overall I’m happy to win a Test match and score 40 points but I know how much we can improve.”

England reasserted their authority early in the second half with further tries through Elliott Whitehead and Victor Radley before the exciting Young added the finishing touches with two late scores, including a 90-metre interception.

Hall attempted to play down his remarkable tryscoring feat, saying: “It’s just a stat, a by-product of playing in a good team.

“There are a lot of cogs that go into the wheel that provides for me.”

However, England captain Sam Tomkins was quick to praise the 34-year-old Hall.

England v France – Rugby League World Cup – Group A – University of Bolton Stadium
Dom Young rounded off the win for England (Martin Rickett/PA)

“Ryan’s being a bit humble,” he said. “There is a reason Ryan has been the most consistent winger in Super League over the last decade.

“We know what to expect from him, he always delivers. I’m big fan of what he’s been doing for a long , long time.”

Wane will hand debuts to Joe Batchelor and Kai Pearce-Paul in the final Group A game against Greece in Sheffield next Saturday and must decide which of his wingers makes way for the return of Makinson.

“I’ve got three fantastic wingers and Ryan is definitely one of them,” Wane said. “The way he’s trained and handled himself has been impeccable, I love him to pieces.”

Centre Kallum Watkins will miss the final pool match after going off with a head knock but is expected to be fit for the quarter-finals.

France can join England in the last eight with a win over Samoa next week and Frayssinous believes they can go into the game with confidence.

“We played England 12 months ago and I can see the massive improvement,” he said.

“If we keep on building and learning – we learned a few things tonight – we will play Samoa with confidence because I think we deserve some credit for the last two games.

“Our objective was to challenge England in a few areas and I think that’s what we did. The first 30 minutes were petty tough so we had to be patient and we came back into the game.

“Although we conceded some tough tries, I don’t think the scoreboard reflected the game.”

Frayssinous revealed that captain Benjamin Garcia was laid low with a fever in the days before the game due to an infection in his arm but has no doubt he will play against Samoa.

“He spent the last two days with an infection in his forearm,” he said. “He had a lot of fever so he’s been brave to play 60, 65 minutes.

“He’s now with the doctor but he will not miss next week, not Ben, he will play.”