International rehearsal for Wayne Bennett's England

England will warm up for the visit of New Zealand in the autumn with an international against France on October 20.

Kevin Sinfield: Happy with French test.
Kevin Sinfield: Happy with French test.

The game, which will be held in England a week before the first of three Tests against the Kiwis, will enable coach Wayne Bennett to give run-outs to his NRL-based players and those not involved in the Super League Grand Final a week earlier.

England met the French in the group stages of the 2017 World Cup in Perth last November, winning 36-6.

France coach Aurelien Cologni, who got his players together in Les Barcares this week, was forced to take a vastly under-strength squad to Australia, but is expected to have the services of captain Remi Casty, as well as Tony Gigot and Morgan Escare, who all missed the World Cup for the autumn internationals.

The French are also set to play England Knights as well as Scotland, Ireland and Wales in the European Championship before rounding off a busy period with a Test match against New Zealand on November 17.

“The French Tests have been good for us over the last couple of years and we’ve got to keep persevering with them,” said former England captain Kevin Sinfield, now the Rugby Football League’s director of rugby.

“It should be good prep for them going into a European Championship and it will certainly be good for ourselves to get a hit-out going into the New Zealand series.”

Hull KR forward Josh Johnson has been given a one-match penalty notice for a dangerous tackle during his side’s 32-0 win over Oldham in Sunday’s Challenge Cup fifth-round tie.

The former Huddersfield prop was charged with the grade B offence by the Rugby Football League’s match-review panel.

Hull prop Mickey Paea and Widnes winger Patrick Ah Van were both issued with cautions for raising their knees in the tackle during games over the weekend.

Former St Helens scrum-half Luke Walsh has announced his retirement at the age of 30 after failing to recover from a serious ankle injury.

The former Penrith Panthers goal-kicking half-back was in his second year with Catalans Dragons when he sustained significant ankle-ligament damage in the third match of the Super League season at Hull KR on February 15.