England topple world champions
England wheelchair completed a hat-trick of home wins for the World Cup hosts in the mid-season internationals with a 62-48 victory over world champions France at the Manchester Basketball Centre on Sunday.
The triumph followed wins for England's women and men in the double header at Warrington's Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday against France and the Combined Nations All Stars, respectively - a timely tonic for all three England teams in their preparations for the end-of-season World Cup.
England Wheelchair head coach Tom Coyd said: "That was the game we needed - credit to France for putting us under pressure, and to our players for responding in the right way.
"It was another great occasion for Wheelchair Rugby League, our first international live on Sky Sports, and we're delighted to have rounded off a good weekend for England.
"These games were important for all three teams as a checkpoint with a few months to go until the World Cup. We can't wait for the tournament to kick off, and we hope England fans feel the same way."
England had suffered a 2-0 home series defeat last autumn against France, who are the reigning world champions.
But they bounced back to regain the Fassolette-Kielty Trophy, named after the two founding fathers of Wheelchair Rugby League, with a controlled performance featuring 11 tries.
Tom Halliwell of Leeds Rhinos led from the front and scored two of them, with Seb Bechara of the Catalans Dragons and the London Roosters team-mates Joe Coyd and Lewis King also collecting doubles.
Nathan Collins of Leeds, Declan Roberts of Wigan Warriors and Rob Hawkins of Halifax Panthers shared the remaining three tries, with Collins kicking six conversions for a personal tally of 16 points, and Roberts landing three goals.
France's outstanding captain Lionel Alazard of Montauban scored 30 of their points with three tries and nine goals, with their other tries coming from Thomas Duhalde, Damien Dore and Florian Guttadoro (two).
England 62: Bechara 2, King 2, Halliwell 2, Coyd 2, Roberts, Collins, Hawkins tries; Collins 6, Roberts 3 goals.
France 48: Alazard 3, Guttadoro 2, Duhalde, Dore tries; Alazard 9 goals; Duhalde, Guttadoro field goals.