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Live Reporting

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  1. Until next time...

    England 36-6 France

    So, England have successfully negotiated the group stage, but this is where the World Cup really starts for Wayne Bennett's boys.

    They face Papua New Guinea in the quarter-final next Sunday with Tonga potentially laying in wait in the last four.

    We'll be with you from 04:30 GMT next week, but until then, here are the highlights from today's 36-6 win over France for you to enjoy...

    Video content

    Video caption: Highlights: England 36-6 France
  2. 'England have to be clever with Burgess'

    Jonathan Davies

    Former Wales international on BBC Two

    Wayne Bennett won't play Sam Burgess if he's not fit.

    He's a phenomenal player and a big character in the camp.

    He'll attract the Papa New Guinea defenders, and England have to be clever and score a couple of tries on the back of that.

  3. Post update

    Sam Burgess says he is fit and gets the nod from both Jon Wilkin and Jonathan Davies, but will Wayne Bennett throw him back into the side for the quarter-final?

  4. Post update

    And Jon Wilkin's team, note he picks Mark Percival instead of Ben Currie...

    "Jonny Lomax covers Gareth Widdop and Kevin Brown, and he can play centre at a push."

  5. 'I want Currie's threat from midfield'

    FT: England 36-6 France

    Jonathan Davies

    Former Wales international on BBC Two

    I would pick Ben Currie for the threat from midfield, and I do think you need an out-and-out finisher at full-back, which is why I've gone for Gareth Widdop.

    Also, Jonny Lomax is there. George Williams hasn't done enough.

  6. Post update

    Here's Jonathan Davies' team for the quarter-final...

  7. Post update

    We've been asking for the England team you'd select for the quarter-final, well we're about to see our pundits' picks...

  8. Stick Widdop at six?

    FT: England 36-6 France

    Kevin Sinfield

    Former England and Leeds captain on BBC Two

    I think Gareth Widdop will end up at six next week.

    I can't see next week's team being very different from the team that played against Australia.

  9. Make smart rotations...

    FT: England 36-6 France

    Jon Wilkin

    Former England international on BBC Two

    In the middle is the hardest place to defend. You're making all the tackles and all the carrying.

    Your rotations have to be smart.

    James Graham and Sean O'Loughlin will play long minutes next week.

  10. Share the workload...

    FT: England 36-6 France

    Kevin Sinfield

    Former England and Leeds captain on BBC Two

    The modern game is about sharing the workload. We have two big men [on the wings] who would probably do a job in the pack.

  11. Cut the errors out...

    FT: England 36-6 France

    Jon Wilkin

    Former England international on BBC Two

    There's a vicious cycle in rugby. You make errors, you clam up, you change how you play and you make more errors.

  12. Post update

    England have to navigate a tricky Papua New Guinea side before a potential quarter-final against Tonga, but what do they need to improve on going into the knockout stages?

  13. Talking of Tonga...

    "Will rugby league ever be the same again?" asked the Sydney Morning Herald, following Tonga's "seismic" victory over New Zealand.

    And it was a win that got the sports writers excited too, including our own Simon Stone...

  14. Who is through?


    While we're on the subject of the knockout stages, here is who has made it through...

    Australia, New Zealand and Tonga had all guaranteed their progress to the last eight after two rounds of matches.

    Australia maintained their 100% record with a win over Lebanon, who qualified in third, in the final group game to progress as Group A winners.

    But it was Tonga who hit the headlines in Group B as they beat New Zealand 28-22 in a thrilling encounter to go through top, while Scotland miss out with Samoa progressing in third.

    Tonga's victory also sets them up with a potential semi-final against England, who face Group C winners Papua New Guinea in the quarter-finals, while Fiji were the ones to make it out of Group D.

  15. Get Involved


    Andy King: Is it fair that Samoa progress to quarter finals having not won a game but Ireland win two games and are eliminated?

    Great question, Andy. Although would Ireland have picked up any more points in that group?

  16. 'Selection debate about best combinations'

    FT: England 36-6 France

    Here's more from Betts, on England's selection headaches: "That's what you want, we brought 24 players to challenge each other, we've had three games to sort ourselves out and now the debate between the coaches is about the best combinations.

    "Tonight has thrown up another couple of different options.

    "I think we are good enough for anybody. But we played ourselves in the second half, allowed France to disrupt us, and we did not respond in way we should've done."

  17. 'Not good enough'

    FT: England 36-6 France

    England assistant coach Denis Betts: "Great first half. Just a very disjointed, sloppy second half, I was happy we did not concede another try, keeping them to six, but the completion rate was not good enough, ball control was really poor and the decision making and options were not good enough

    "The coaches are not happy, Wayne is not happy, the players are not happy with the display we put on, the lack of discipline and maybe getting over-confident at times.

    "It is hard to put a finger on why, I've got to highlight how clinical we were at the start and some of the attacking skills were outstanding but we have got to do that for 80 minutes."

  18. Post update

    England assistant Denis Betts wasn't too impressed by the performance in the win over France, he says Wayne Bennett isn't happy either...

  19. ''l'll be there against PNG'

    FT: England 36-6 France

    Here is Sam Burgess, who watched on from the sidelines today after suffering a knee injury in the opening-day defeat by Australia: "It's always tough watching. I was really impressed with the start of the game, we were really clinical, but I'm pretty disappointed with the second half. We were sloppy, we didn't complete our sets and we were poor defensively at times.

    "We rolled the team so there wasn't much continuity, but I know we can play better than we did in the second half.

    "Our main focus as a team is to concentrate for the full 80 minutes. We are improving but tonight was not our best.

    "Wayne Bennett is a hard taskmaster, so he'll get the best out of us during the week. He knows how to motivate us. But the players know how to motivate themselves."

    Burgess initially wasn't expected to be fit until the semi-finals, but will he be ready come next week? "I'll be there. I'm looking forward to it."

    Sam Burgess
  20. Post update

    There is some good news for England fans, and Wayne Bennett, though. Sam Burgess insists he'll be back for the quarter-final meeting with Papua New Guinea...