England prepare for Rugby Wheelchair Final
France will be under pressure when England plays the Wheelchair Rugby League Cup final tonight, 18 November, in Manchester.
That’s the message from England captain Tom Halliwell after his team was beaten by France in 2013 and 2017 following their win in the inaugural World Cup in 2008.
France won 42-40 when they played in 2013 and 44-40 five years ago in 2017.
"France are the number one side in the world and will want a third consecutive title," Halliwell told BBC Sport.
"Although we are at home I don't feel the pressure is on us. We just have to go out there and execute our gameplan."
Halliwell, 23, was one of the players in 2017, he knows how important tonight’s game will be for his former teammates.
"You can't read too much into France's performances so far in this tournament because they haven't played against strong opposition, so this game is like going into the unknown,” he stated.
"We have had five years building for this, and now it is finally here it is scary but exciting and I can't wait.
"We want to get our name on the trophy and we believe it is our time to shine. A World Cup win on home soil would send that message out."
In the crowd at the 2017 game was Tom Coyd watching his younger brother Joe.
Five years on, Tom is England coach, he knows how the loss affected his sibling after their defeat.
"For those guys who were involved five years ago, I know they have thought about it a lot," he told BBC Sport.
"But since then, all the times they didn't want to go to training or eat the right food or didn't think a gym session was going to make a difference, they have reflected on how that defeat hurt and it has driven them to get to the level they are playing at now."
You can watch the game live tonight, 18 November, on BBC Two from 7pm (Kick off 7.30pm)