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England to face France without Lauren James due to Lioness ace’s foot injury

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SARINA WIEGMAN and England have been dealt a fitness blow with Lauren James’s withdrawal from the camp due to a foot problem.

The Lioness forward, 22, will miss the team’s double-header Women’s Euros qualifier clash with France tonight and on Tuesday.

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Lauren James has withdrawn from England’s camp with a foot injury ahead of the team’s Euros qualifier duels with FranceCredit: Getty
The Lioness forward hopes to return to fitness ahead of England's Women's Euros qualifier clashes with the Republic of Ireland and Sweden in July

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The Lioness forward hopes to return to fitness ahead of England’s Women’s Euros qualifier clashes with the Republic of Ireland and Sweden in JulyCredit: Getty
Tottenham forward Jessica Naz has been included in England's squad following James's withdrawal

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Tottenham forward Jessica Naz has been included in England’s squad following James’s withdrawalCredit: PA

James, who helped Chelsea win a fifth successive WSL title, had joined her England team-mates for training this week and hoped to get back to fitness.

However the 24-capped forward, was unable to overcome her foot injury.

England chief Wiegman said: “Lauren James didn’t make it, so she’s not selected.

“She already had some foot problems at her club, so she came in and we hoped that we could build, but it’s just too early, so unfortunately she can’t stay with us.

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“For Lauren and for the team it’s unfortunate.”

James’s withdrawal has led to Tottenham’s Jess Naz, 23, being added to the squad ahead of the Lionesses duel with Les Bleues at St James’s Park tonight.

The Spurs forward has been on England’s squad standby list along with Birmingham goalkeeper Lucy Thomas and Liverpool midfielder Missy Bo Kearns.

Wiegman added: “Jess Naz will be added to the group. She’s ready and she’s shown good stuff this week in training and with her club.”

Following their clash with France tonight and next Tuesday, England take on the Republic of Ireland on July 12 at Carrow Road.

The reigning Women’s Euros champions will then play Sweden in Gothenburg four days later.

And it is hoped James will return to fitness in time for those fixtures.

Wiegman added: “Of course it’s a disappointment. We did everything, she did everything, and it’s just too early now. .

“She’s going to get prepared for the July window.”

Prior to the Lionesses’ duels’ with France James’ has been backing a campaign to tackle social media abuse directed at female athletes.

The Pep Talks drive was launched this month by Women’s Champions League sponsors Visa,

The campaign has been looking at how positive messages of support for sportswomen help reduce the impact of online hate.

The finance firm says nearly one in ten online comments shared during last year’s Women’s World Cup were found to be hateful.

The findings were based on their analysis of posts on the social media platform X published in last July and August.

Posts that included mentions women’s national team players in England, France and Spain.

James, who in the past has been targeted by online trolls, has shared her thoughts on the issue as part of Visa’s Pep Talks campaign.

The Lioness ace says being on the receiving end of hateful messages online can be “mentally draining”.

However the forward has vowed not to let trolls affect her performances.

The Chelsea star, who has won three WSL title’s with the Blues, said: “Unfortunately, online negativity happens to me quite regularly.

“When it does happen, I just try to filter out what I see.

James's team-mates will play France for the first time under Sarina Wiegman when they host Les Bleues at St James's Park

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James’s team-mates will play France for the first time under Sarina Wiegman when they host Les Bleues at St James’s ParkCredit: PA

“There is a lot of negativity in what people post on social, the remarks they make or statements they put out. It can be very hurtful.

“But, for me, it’s the messages of positivity online or from the people around me that will always shine through and rise above the hate.

“It’s never unnoticed and always appreciated.”

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