After eight teams have taken part in 26 matches over the last three weeks, England and France are the last ones standing in the Wheelchair World Cup. Both sides have been unbeaten throughout the tournament and go head to head in the Final tomorrow night at Manchester Central, kick-off 7.30pm.

Ahead of the match, which will be shown live on BBC 2, here is all you need to know about both teams:

The Brief

England and France are two of the heavyweights of Wheelchair Rugby League and are familiar foes on the international stage.

The Anglo-French rivalry began ahead of the World Cup back in June with a closely fought mid-season international, France coming out on top in a 62-48 result. Domestically, the competition continued when Leeds met Catalans Dragons in the Challenge Cup, where the Rhinos overturned their French opponents to win their third successive Cup title.

Focusing on the World Cup so far, there is little to pick between the two sides as they topped their respective groups.

England opened the competition in style against Australia’s Wheelaroos and went on to beating Spain and Ireland in Group A. Wales’ win over Scotland in the final Group B game set up a clash with their neighbours, but Tom Coyd’s side impressed at the Copper Box in a 125-22 result. Rhinos players Nathan Collins and James Simpson were both scorers against their teammate Jodie Boyd-Ward, while Jack Brown’s eight tries was a standout.

Embed code – <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

As winners of the last two Wheelchair World Cups, both of which came against England in 2013 and 2017, there is a target on France’s back but they have not let that affect their performances in this year’s competition.

Embed code – <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

Like England, they breezed through the group stages, recording a combined 350 points across their three games, to set up a clash with Australia in the semi-finals. Although it was the French’s closest scoreline during the World Cup, it was still a comfortable 40 point difference to put France back in the Final for a third successive season.

Ones to Watch

There are plenty of star players amongst both nations.

Trio Nathan Collins, Tom Halliwell and James Simpson are flying the Rhinos flag in the England camp, having been a part of the club’s Challenge Cup winning side. Collins is one of the tournament’s top point scorers, while Simpson was a try scorer in the semi final win over Wales.

Captain Halliwell has also led from the front, alongside a number of players from Halifax’s Grand Final side that beat Leeds. Jack Brown’s try-scoring feats have been well-documented throughout the tournament as he was included in the team of the tournament, but one player that is a game-changer for England is Seb Bechara.

The Catalans player knows most of Friday’s opponents well from his time in France, but his performances under head coach Coyd saw him claim the Golden Boot earlier in the week.

France had three inclusions in the team of the tournament too. Lionel Alazard kicked the tournament off with a historic performance against Wales that saw him score six tries and set a new record for points scored in a World Cup match (50).

Jeremy Bourson and Nicolas Clausells have been just as dangerous too in attack, as they were also included in the team of the tournament, but Mostefa Abassi was unfortunate to miss out. In the semi-final win over the Wheelaroos, he took his try tally for the tournament to 16, which is also a record for the most tries scored by one player at a single World Cup.

Team Lists


Nathan Collins (Leeds Rhinos)

Rob Hawkins (Halifax Panthers)

Joe Coyd (London Roosters)

Seb Bechara (Catalans Dragons)

Lewis King (London Roosters)

Jack Brown (Halifax Panthers)

Tom Halliwell (Leeds Rhinos, captain)

Adam Rigby (Wigan Warriors)

Declan Roberts (Wigan Warriors)

Wayne Boardman (Halifax Panthers)

James Simpson (Leeds Rhinos)



Lionel Alazard

Gilles Clausells

Mostefa Abassi

Jérémy Bourson

Thomas Duhalde

Julien Pennella

Arno Vargas

Nicolas Clausells

Yann Verdi

Florian Guttardoro

Jonathan Hivernat

Guillaume Mautz


RLWC 2021 Results


Group A, Game 1: Beat Australia 38-8

Group A, Game 2: Beat Spain 104-12

Group A, Game 3: Beat Ireland 121-0

Semi Final: Beat Wales 125-22


Group B, Game 1: Beat Wales 154-6

Group B, Game 2: Beat Scotland 80-15

Group B, Game 3: Beat USA 116-6

Semi Final: Beat Australia 84-40


Been inspired to play Wheelchair Rugby League?

Find out more about how you can get involved in wheelchair rugby league with Leeds Rhinos Foundation.

Email or click here.