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Page last updated at 16:55 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 17:55 UK

England potential excites Smith

Four Nations tournament, England v France
Venue: Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster Date: Friday, 23 October KO: 2000 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Sport website. Also live on Sky Sports 2. Highlights on Sunday 25 October from 1345-1445 on BBC Two and online

England coach Tony Smith
Smith said he had full confidence in all the players in his squad

England coach Tony Smith says he has gone for a mix of tried and tested veterans and exciting youth for the Four Nations opener against France.

Playing alongside veterans like Adrian Morley and Jamie Peacock will be teenagers Tom Briscoe and Richie Myler, with Kyle Eastmond, 20, on the bench.

"There is some terrific talent in there, a few new faces and some old heads," he said.

"In some ways you can't go wrong. I have confidence in every squad member."

Leeds stand-off Danny McGuire is the only non-forward to survive from last November's 32-22 World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand.


He will renew the half-back partnership with Myler which showed such promise in England's 66-12 win over France in June.

St Helens youngster Eastmond was not in the England reckoning then but earned the chance of a first cap with his performance in Saints' Grand Final loss to Leeds, where he scored all his side's points with a try and three goals.

"He's comfortable in a lot of positions and he'll bring versatility from the bench," said Smith.

"If we get injuries or somebody is not at their best we know we can introduce Kyle.

"He's very good at running with the ball and taking the opposition on. I'm looking forward to seeing him in his first game."

As expected, Smith added eight players from Grand Finalists Leeds and St Helens who were left out of last Saturday's warm-up win over Wales, one of them being Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield, who will be England's goalkicker.

The only real surprise in the team is the selection of Briscoe ahead of Hull KR winger Peter Fox.

Briscoe bagged two tries on an impressive England debut against Wales, but was only added to the Four Nations squad when Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin suffered a hand injury.

Wigan's Sam Tomkins also made his debut against Wales but is left out despite scoring three tries and winning the man-of-the-match award.

"I know if we opted for Sam Tomkins in that position he'd do a good job but we think the combination of Richie Myler and Danny McGuire is right for this match," explained Smith.

England team to play France: S Briscoe (Hull KR); T Briscoe (Hull), L Smith (Leeds), M Shenton (Castleford), R Hall (Leeds); D McGuire (Leeds), R Myler (Salford); A Morley (Warrington), S Moore (Huddersfield), J Peacock (Leeds, capt), G Ellis (Wests Tigers), S Burgess (Bradford), K Sinfield (Leeds).

Subs: K Eastmond (St Helens), J Roby (St Helens), J Graham (St Helens), B Westwood (Warrington).

see also
England 34-12 France
23 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
O'Loughlin to miss Four Nations
20 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Peacock says England must deliver
19 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Smith happy with England workout
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Wales 12-48 England
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Aussies out of French contention
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Aussie pair to make Four Nations
13 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Bridge given shock England call
13 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Leuluai included in Kiwis squad
07 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
France 12-66 England
13 Jun 09 |  Rugby League

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