Don’t write us off, says Goulding
France coach Bobby Goulding has warned England not to write his side off ahead of the Gillette Fusion International at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday.
Les tricolores go into the game with a number of new faces in the squad, but Goulding is confident that on their day they can compete with the best.
Goulding said: “I can’t wait for the game. There’s nothing like playing against your own country so it’s really exciting.”
“We know our backs are against the wall, but we know where we are and what we’re doing. There are a lot of new faces in the team, but we’ll go out and give it a good go.
"Steve is not writing us off like some people have been, but don’t judge us by this game, or last year in Paris, judge us when we have a full side because we know we can match it with anybody.”
The former Great Britain international believes that his forwards are crucial to France’s chances in the game and he is confident that his pack can cause problems to any side.
“It’s going to be a massive day for my front six - skipper Olivier Elima, David Ferriol, Remi Casty, Gregory Mounis, Jamal Fakir and Andrew Bentley,” said Goulding, who was speaking to England TV.
"They’re Super League material and could match any Super League pack no doubt about it and that’s the way we’re going to be playing, right up the middle.”
France will take confidence from last year’s Gillette Four Nations where they held an advantage over England for 60 minutes and Goulding believes that performance reflects the strong selection made by Steve McNamara for his first game in charge.
“We’ve prepared really well and I just want to go out and have a really good go at them.
“We competed well in Doncaster last year and we weren’t a million miles away. You can tell by the team that Steve’s picked, he knows we weren’t far off them.”
Steve McNamara has called up the likes of Sam Burgess and Gareth Ellis from Australia and Goulding believes this is a real indication of how seriously England are taking the Gillette Fusion International at Leigh Sports Village.
“It’s great from my point of view to see Sam Burgess and Gareth Ellis coming across,” added Goulding.
“I don’t know much about Gareth Widdop from Melbourne, but I’ve watched him a few times for Melbourne Storm and he’s done really well.
“But with Sam and Gareth, it’s good to see them competing well in the NRL.
“The Aussies are rating them as two of the best forwards in the world, so we’ve got to make sure we don’t give them too much ball in the game.”
Tickets for the Gillette Fusion International between England and France on Saturday 12 June at Leigh Sports Village are now on-sale. All pre-purchase tickets for the game for anywhere in the stadium are priced just £10 for adults and £5 for concessions and can be purchased now from the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 11 13 or via www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
Hospitality is still available for the game and can be purchased by calling 0844 856 11 14.
For the latest information about England Rugby League please visit www.englandrl.co.uk