French test awaits Wales
England to travel to Wrexham in end-of-season tournament
Last Updated: March 28, 2012 2:46pm
Iestyn Harris: won't be able to call upon his Australian-based players for June fixture
Wales have announced they will play a mid-season international against France as part of their fixture list for the 2012 season.
Iestyn Harris' men will take on the French at The Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium in Wrexham on June 16, the same day as England's opening game against the Exiles at St Helens.
There are no club fixtures that weekend so both countries will be able to field their strongest teams, although Wales will not call on any of their Australian-based players.
Wales got the better of France in their last meeting, triumphing 12-11 in the final of the 2010 European Cup in Albi to qualify for last year's Four Nations.
"To be able to put on a mid-season Test shows a bit of progression to where we've come as we've not been in the position to do that in years gone by," said Harris.
"Hopefully this will increase to two or three in years to follow.
"It's going to be more difficult for us as there are a good number of our squad playing rugby league in Australia and we won't be able to call on them for this match.
"But this means that a number of other players will get the opportunity to play and prove that they are good enough to be in the squad for the end of the year.
"It's a progression game for us. Can we compete against a very strong French side with a couple of numbers down?
"It's an important game for us to see where we've come as a squad. It will be an interesting game."
Wales and France, who have yet to appoint a new coach after opting not to extend Bobbie Goulding's contract, will also meet at the end of the campaign in a triangular tournament that also involves England.
Wales travel to Perpignan on the weekend of October 20-21 and then host England in Wrexham the following week. The final will be on the weekend of November 10-11.