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Lionesses add two friendlies to spring schedule

England v Northern Ireland – Women’s International Friendly – St Georges Park
(Image credit: FA Handout)

England Women are to play France away on April 9 before taking on Canada at Stoke’s Bet365 Stadium four days later.

The friendly against France at the Stade Michel d’Ornano in Caen will be the Lionesses’ second fixture under interim boss Hege Risse, following the 6-0 win over Northern Ireland at St George’s Park last month.

That match is scheduled to get under way at 8.10pm UK time, while it will be a 7.15pm kick-off for the friendly against Canada, which the FA had already said was set to happen in April, with a venue and time to be confirmed.

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Riise said in a statement from the FA on Tuesday: “I am looking forward to taking the team to play France.

“We all know they are one of the best in the world, but they will also recognise we are at a high level and will give them a competitive game. We have to use every opportunity to learn and improve, as individuals and as a group.

“With the Canada game also, this will be a great two matches and I am very happy for the players to have this opportunity.”

Both games will be shown live on BBC Four.

The win against Northern Ireland was England's first match under interim boss Hege Riise (Handout/FA/PA).

The win against Northern Ireland was England’s first match under interim boss Hege Riise (Handout/FA/PA).

England last played France, who are three place higher than them at third in the world rankings, when they beat them 4-1 at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup.

Their last meeting with Canada – currently managed by former England assistant boss Bev Priestman, and ranked eighth in the world – was a 1-0 friendly loss in Manchester in 2019, just prior to the World Cup in France.

Riise is in temporary charge of England following the departure of Phil Neville in January and ahead of Sarina Wiegman taking the reins in September. The Norwegian is also to manage the Great Britain team at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

The Northern Ireland, France and Canada friendlies are part of England’s preparations for the European Championship in 2022, of which they will be hosts.