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European Team Championships preview: England ready to challenge

England’s premier badminton stars will join those from across Europe as they descend on the Arena Stade Couvert in Lievin, France.

The European Team Championships start on February 11 and continue for the rest of the week with England’s men hoping to back up their performance from 2018.

The number two seeds, who won silver last time round, have been drawn in a group with Estonia, Greenland and Sweden.

SaarLorLux Open semi-finalist Toby Penty and 2020 English national champion Alex Lane lead the charge in the men’s singles.

While Olympic bronze medallists Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge team up in the men’s doubles as do national champions Tom Wolfenden and Greg Mairs, and Kharkiv and Belgian International title winners Ben Lane and Sean Vendy.

In the women’s event, national champions Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith head the pack heading to France.

England are joined in their group by hosts France, Belarus and Israel.

Youth is at the heart of the team as emerging stars Grace King, Freya Redfearn and Pamela Reyes are all featured.

Jenny Moore and Viki Williams pair up in the women’s doubles, as do Welsh international winners Abigail Holden and Lizzie Tolman.