Kevin Brown will play his first game of the World Cup against France.
Kevin Brown will play his first game of the World Cup against France. Gareth Copley

French 'bang up for it', warns England half

WARRINGTON'S Kevin Brown is looking forward to going head-to-head with France captain Theo Fages when the two sides face up in Perth tomorrow.

While the two halfbacks have come up against each other numerous times in the English Super League, neither has faced each other at international level.

Brown, making his first appearance of the World Cup, is looking forward to the challenge of playing against St Helens star Fages, who has been tipped to one day play in the NRL.

"I've played against him many times, he's a true competitor,” Brown said.

"What you can always guarantee is he will always give everything.

"I'm going to try and out-compete him first and foremost, and hopefully get over the top of him with some skill as well.

"Wayne (coach Wayne Bennett) said to be committed, don't do something you've not trained for until it's second nature.”

Brown is one of four new faces in Bennett's side to face the French.

Mark Percival, Mike McMeeken and Scott Taylor will also play their first games in the World Cup, while St Helens giant Alex Walmsley has kept his place after an impressive international debut in the win over Lebanon.

Bennett will have winger Jermaine McGillvary available after he was found not guilty at the judiciary on Wednesday of biting Lebanon skipper Robbie Farah.

James Roby will start at hooker for the English with Gareth Widdop moving to fullback to cover for Jonny Lomax, who has a calf strain.

Brown will come into the halves for Widdop and he expects the French to play a different way to Super League club Catalan Dragons, despite having a number of their players in the international team.

"There is a different style because they've got Theo in there and a couple of players from Toulouse, so they are a different side,” Brown said.

France need to beat England and hope Lebanon gets a shock success over Australia to make the last eight.

Brown said the French would be no pushovers.

"If they want to get through they have to beat us so they'll be bang up for it,” he said.