The Last Tackle: Young England Side Can Excite Against France

England face France in a double header this weekend
19:00, 26 Apr 2023

On this week’s edition of The Last Tackle, Mark Pearson is joined by Kevin Brown and Paul Sculthorpe to discuss everything about the Super League, as well as previewing England’s double header against France on Saturday.

After a sluggish start to the new campaign, World Club Challenge holders St Helens were being questioned on their desire to go again and win more silverware this season. But they answered those questions in emphatic fashion with a 28-6 win over Warrington on Thursday. 

Paul Sculthorpe is sticking by his former side: “Saints? I knew they’d come good. It’s been a rough old few weeks for the team but they’ve certainly turned things around on Thursday against Warrington. I think it was the Saints of last year, Saints of previous years, I thought they looked far more ruthless in defence, the speed of line, the intensity - I just thought they look back to themselves and still missing a number of first choice players.”


Kevin Brown added: “Probably expectations with St Helens is, they don’t just peak at the end of the season, they are good all through it and that is what they have been for the last four years. But I agree with Scully, the line speed is back, Saints look back and the good thing about them is regardless of who is playing in that team, when they are on, it doesn’t really matter - they play well as a unit. They were fantastic, Warrington a little bit of a wobble but Saints - Johnny Lomax stood up.”

On top of the table Wigan Warriors have been mightily impressive, despite suffering a key injury to Jai Field. 

“The fact that Bevan French has been moved to full back… I thought when Jai Field got injured I thought that was it,” Brown explains. “I don’t know where they are going to get a six from. Shorrocks has come in at six and been an absolute revelation and the balance they have got in that squad! Shorrocks defensively, he is showing that attitude, but then whenever Bevan French gets the ball it is either a try or a try assist. He is just creating so many problems for the defences at the minute. When Field comes back, I don’t know where he plays! He’ll definitely get in the side don’t get me wrong, but I’m not sure he goes straight into full back.”

This weekend it is international action that has captured the pundits attention as England are in action against Warrington on Saturday, against France. It’s a special double header, with the women in action at 2pm, followed by the men at 4.30pm.

“There are a lot of young players and there is no doubt that Wane will be focusing on long-term as well, towards that 2025 World Cup really,” Sculthorpe says, previewing the men’s game. “It was disappointing the way the last World Cup ended and then all eyes on the next one. I think it is a really exciting squad and I think there will be plenty of enthusiasm out there as well. These are some of the form players in Super League.” 

You can watch a new episode of The Last Tackle every Wednesday at 7pm on The Sportsman Rugby League.

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