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Mark Sampson urges his girls to take World by storm

Mark Sampson has called on England to cause a real stir and make a dream start to the Women's World Cup by beating France.

The testing opener for Sampson's Lionesses in the New Brunswick city of Moncton today comes against the side that eliminated them in a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-finals four years ago.

Head coach Sampson (pictured) is confident his players can counter the French threat with attacking prowess.

"It's going to be a tough game," he said.

"We're playing many people's tournament favourites, we're playing against some huge individual talents.

"Now, more than they've ever had, France have got a real collective ethic as well. It's going to be a huge challenge for us, but we'll do what we always do: we'll focus on ourselves, and make sure we pick a team that can deal with France and give them as many problems as possible.

"We'll make it as difficult as we possibly can for France, and I think we've got a group of people who can do that."

Belfast Telegraph