16 Nov 2022
What are the teams for the wheelchair Rugby League World Cup final?
England and France go head-to-head at Manchester Central
By Paul Martin
England and France have named their squads for the wheelchair Rugby League World Cup 2021 final on Friday night.
Both sides have racked up no shortage of points on their way to the showpiece, England putting 125 past Wales in the last four while France beat Australia 84-40 in their semi-final.
It is all set up for a pulsating encounter at Manchester Central as both sides battle it out to be the first to lift a World Cup trophy across a packed weekend.
England: 4 Seb Bechara, 10 Wayne Boardman, 6 Jack Brown, 1 Nathan Collins, 3 Joe Coyd, 7 Tom Halliwell, 2 Rob Hawkins, 5 Lewis King, 9 Declan Roberts, 11 James Simpson
France: 3 Mostefa Abassi, 1 Lionel Alazard, 4 Jérémy Bourson, 2 Gilles Clausells (captain), 8 Nicolas Clausells, 10 Florian Guttardoro, 11 Jonathan Hivernat, 12 Guillaume Mautz, 6 Julien Pennella, 7 Arno Vargas
This is the third successive wheelchair World Cup which has culminated in a final between England and France.
The historical edge lies with France, who have won the most recent two by narrow margins – 42-40 in 2013 and 38-34 in 2017.
Those results have left England going into the latest encounter looking to lift the World Cup for the first time since 2008, when they beat Australia in the final.
One – or more – of three players on display will end the tournament in the history books. Mostefa Abbasi’s four tries against Australia took his tally to 16, the most scored by a single player in a World Cup – beating Jack Brown’s haul of 15 in 2017. But Brown and Jérémy Bourson sit just one behind going into the showpiece, leaving the honour up for grabs going into the final.
England go into the match in flying form, having racked up three figures in each of their last three matches.
France are also no stranger to bringing up a century, having done so twice in this tournament, though they have conceded more points than their opponents – 67 to England’s 42.
Players to watch
- For England, it’s hard to look past Jack Brown. His eight tries in the semi-final win over Wales equalled a World Cup record for most scores in a single game and made him the first man to reach a half-century in the tournament’s history.
- France’s Jérémy Bourson was in rampant form against Australia, crossing five times, and has been largely unstoppable throughout the competition. Also look out for the family link-up between captain Gilles Clausells and his nephew Nicolas.
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets