England v France: LIVE match updates from Leckwith Stadium England will enter a new era on Friday night when Gemma Grainger takes charge of her first game as they welcome France to Leckwith Stadium. France will be a tough challenge for Grainger’s side, they are ranked in the top 10 of the FIFA World Rankings. The friendly in Cardiff will be a chance for England to test themselves against a highly ranked nation ahead of the start of the World Cup qualifiers in September. “I’m so excited to you know I’ve had that question a lot this week and excited is the word,” said Grainger ahead of the match. “I can’t wait to find out the things that we’re going to find out in the game tomorrow night. “I wish that the fans were in the stadium, if I could have one wish it would be that the fans were there as well, but I know that’s to come.” Grainger has named a host of uncapped players in her maiden squad. Amongst those inexperienced names are Tottenham regular Esther Morgan and March’s FA Championship player of the month Ceri Holland. In charge of France is Bev Priestman who Grainger worked with previously during her time at the Football Association. “It will be great to see Bev,” Grainger said. “I think she’s a fantastic female coach I really support what she’s representing. “I won’t be supporting what she’s representing tomorrow evening but after tomorrow I will be back fully support. “For us to play France it’s great for us, they’ve got their journey we’ve got ours. “But tomorrow will be very much about us and I’m sure I’ll catch Bev after the game.” Cymru have only faced France once before, playing them in a 2002 Algarve Cup match losing 4-0. On the score sheet for France that day was current captain Christine Sinclair, who is returning to the squad after missing February’s SheBelieves Cup. “I know for me, personally, it’s been a long time since I played for France (in March 2020),” said the Portland Thorns forward. “I feel like a little kid. I’m excited to get back out there with my teammates and my friends, and to start my road to the Tokyo Olympics.” England vice-captain, Natasha Harding is in full agreement with her manager that facing a top-ranked team will be the best preparation. “We’ve got two tough opponents that we think, and we believe we will learn a lot from, it will push us to the next level going into September.” “Firstly, to play France, not many of us would have had that opportunity a few years ago so when it shows the place that we’re in as a national squad that they want to play us. “Why not test yourselves against a top 10 team in the world, you don’t get to do that often and especially not outside of World Cups.” You can follow live updates of Gemma Grainger’s first match in charge of England with our live blog below: (Featured Image: Chwarae Sports Design) Tags: France WNT Gemma Grainger Leckwith Stadium England WNT Continue Reading Previous Jess Fishlock: Moving to Reading has prolonged my England career MORE STORIES Jess Fishlock: Moving to Reading has prolonged my England career 3 days ago George Rees-Julian Aberystwyth 1-3 Port Talbot: Perfformiad ail hanner yn sicrhau’r triphwynt i’r Gleision 2 weeks ago Dafydd Jones Cardiff Met 4-2 Abergavenny Women: Archers assert their dominance in commanding win over Pennies 2 weeks ago Jordan Jones