Lauren James ruled out of England’s Euro 2025 qualifiers against France

England have suffered a major injury blow ahead of their Euro 2025 qualifying double header against France, with Chelsea forward Lauren James ruled out.

Sarina Wiegman’s side begin a busy summer of qualifier at St James’ Park on Friday night but will have to cope without James because of a foot injury. The 22-year-old has become a vital player for England over the last 12 months following a breakout tournament at the World Cup last summer.

Tottenham Hotspur winger Jessica Naz, who was training with the Lionesses squad as a standby player, has been promoted into the main squad as a replacement. James will return to Chelsea in order to continue treatment on the problem sustained at the end of the WSL season.

It is the latest injury blow after defenders Niamh Charles and Lotte Wubben-Moy had already withdrawn from the squad. Manchester United’s Maya Le Tissier has been called up in their place. 

Jessica NazJessica Naz

Jessica Naz is now part of the main England squad / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

James’ injury could present an opportunity for gametime to Chelsea teammate Aggie Beever-Jones, who was called up for the first time ahead of this summer’s four qualifying games

The reverse fixture against France will take place on Tuesday night in Saint-Etienne. Then, England will face Sweden and the Republic of Ireland on 12 and 16 July in Norwich and Gothenburg respectively.

Wiegman’s side are currently second in the group, only behind leaders France. Victory on Friday night would see them leapfrog their opponents and claim top spot with three games to go.

Under the new Euro qualifying format, which is similar to that of the Nations League, England will need to finish first or second in their group to book their place at next summer’s tournament in Switzerland. Third or fourth would mean two rounds of play-offs in order to qualify.

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