England finalise side for France clash

Seven players from Leeds Rhinos have been included in the England team to face France at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Sunday (Kick off 5.45pm).

England and France face each other on the first weekend of international Rugby League?s newest competition, the Federation Shield.

Rhinos? favourites Lee Smith, Ashley Gibson, Danny Williams, Matt Diskin, Jamie Jones Buchanan, Nick Scruton and Ryan Bailey will all be wearing England?s red and white in front of their own fans.

The team will be skippered by Rob Purdham of Harlequins RL as England seek to secure a step on the ladder to the tournament?s Final at Halton Stadium, Widnes on Sunday, November 12.

Paul Cullen, England?s new Head Coach, said: ?We?re expecting a serious challenge from the French and we?ve prepared for that task.

?Besides wanting to make progress in the Federation Shield, the English players are aware that the planning process for the 2008 World Cup has started.

?This tournament provides them with an ideal platform on which to make an impression in international Rugby League?.

The England team is:

Lee Smith (Leeds Rhinos); Mark Calderwood (Wigan Warriors), Richard Whiting (Hull FC), Ashley Gibson (Leeds Rhinos), Danny Williams (Leeds Rhinos); Rob Purdham (Harlequins RL, Captain), Jamie Rooney (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats); Eorl Crabtree (Huddersfield Giants), Matt Diskin (Leeds Rhinos), Ewan Dowes (Hull FC), Jamie Jones Buchanan (Leeds Rhinos), Lee Radford (Hull FC), Brett Ferres (Bradford Bulls).

Interchange: Chris Ashton (Wigan Warriors), Nick Scruton (Leeds Rhinos), Matt Cook (Bradford Bulls), Ryan Bailey (Leeds Rhinos).

Source: www.therfl.co.uk