French 18-man side v England

France Rugby League are going into their opening Federation Shield fixture against England at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Leeds on Sunday (Kick ?off 5.45pm) confident that they can win.

French team manager Gilles Dumas speaking from the team?s headquarters in France said: ?We?re very motivated for the match against England on Sunday.

?Playing against England at any time is very special and our players have set their hearts on playing well against the English this time as well as in the rest of the tournament.

?Last year England beat us 22-12 at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and it was a very close encounter. This year we hope to win?.

Dumas, a former French international stand off half, added: ?It?s also very exciting for the French team to play against both Samoa and Tonga in the tournament.

?We?re not used to playing against either country and, because many of their players have played in Australia?s National Rugby League, it?s going to be a fruitful experience for our players. The Samoans and Tongans will be robust and play a strong game.

?I believe that the Federation Shield is great preparation for all four countries as they prepare for the 2008 World Cup

?It gives the Head Coaches an opportunity to assess the level of progress their teams are making as well as the players having the experience of competing against players they do not know.

?The French players are really excited about taking part in the Federation Shield and they can?t wait to start playing.?

Renaud Guigue (Carpentras)
Olivier Charles (Villefranche)
Damien Couturier (Hull KR)
Teddy Sadaoui (Carcassonne)
Frederic Zitter (UTC)
James Wynne (Toulouse)
Julien Rinaldi (Harlequins)
J?r?me Guisset (Catalans, captain)
David Berthezene (Catalans)
Adel Fellous (Catalans)
Olivier Elima (Wakefield)
Aurelien Cologni (Lezignan)
Gregory Mounis (Catalans)

Jamil Fakir (Catalans)
S?bastien Raguin (Catalans)
Jean-Christophe Borlin (St Gaudens)
Maxime Gr?s?que (Pia)
Matthieu Griffi (Catalans)

Coach: John Monie