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French Update


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#1 audois

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 11:25 AM

Well the local comp kicks off this weekend with France's very own version of Magic Weekend with all five ties to be played down in the Corbieres at Lezigan starting with Avignon-Villeneuve and the big Aude Derby FCL-ASC on the Saturday. Both these openers to be televised live by Orange Sport. The latter should feature the two top signings this year in the two former Salford lads Phil Leuluai and Luke Swain playing against each other. The Kiwi should also have former Dragon Andrew Bentley and ex -Toulouse man Nathan Wynn alongside which should make the Lezignan side odds on to retain their league title. The three other matches on the Sunday.

Last years runners -up Pia have recruited strongly taking ASC's Chris Moly and two decent Limoux players in Arty Shead and centre Mathieu Mayans. Few are looking beyond these three sides for the honours in 2011. Limoux could be a bit off the pace and have Aussie Daniel Wagon returning as coach. Not sure if he intends to play or not. The Grizzlies have a Welsh feel with Gareth Dean now on board alongside Geriant Davies from the Scorpions and Barrow's Anthony Blackwood.

There was a hope that the game would cut back on the number of overseas players but it looks like business as usual unfortunately. Sixteen signed up in the Aude alone. It makes it harder for the other hopefuls to compete and inhibits clubs from seeking promotion. Montpellier have made the move up this year at least giving the comp ten clubs. Fingers very much crossed for them as they dont appear to have brought on board many new players. Last year FCL played Pia in the Final. As their Juniors did. These clubs have the pick of all the best players including the kids coming through.

Interestingly this past summer Villeneuve who its believed will be coached some time this year by Stanley Gene supplied up to half a dozen of the Federations Roosters team U20s who played against Super League opposition. Hopefully USV will be on an upward curve with some of their youngsters building on their recent success. They've also got a good lively full back returning in Farid Nicolas too. In the same vein will be I think the entente St Gaudens-Toulouse. The link between these clubs seems to be developing nicely. Two veteran Aussies seem to have returned in Adam Innes and Rus Bussain to add experience to a youthful squad. TO XIII blooding lads before the CC challenge across the Channel re-starts in February.

There will be interest to see how the improvements up in Provence at Avignon and Carpentras will be built on. SOA have an Aussie coach Amos returning and have taken two good forwards from Limoux in Aaron Wood and Joris Casals. RCCC too should shape up. The two Khattabi brothers lead the way and Said Tamghart returning from Halifax will create a feisty pack and young Soubrayas in the backs gives some dash outwide.

Will be interesting to see what Steve Deakin makes of St Esteve-XIII Catalans the Dragons feeder club. All French obviously and now with wing Carlos Mendes signed up when it was thought he would end up in Carcasssonne after playing for Toulouse last year in the CC. No doubt the incoming Trent Robinson will want to have a look at these hopefuls before deciding who will get the final jumpers at the Dragons come 2011.

Edited by audois, 21 September 2010 - 11:26 AM.

si tu (remi casty) devais envoyer un fax au president guasch?
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"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
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"It involves matters much greater than drafting the new rules...the original and existing games have their own powerful appeal to their players and public and have the sentiments which history inspires"
Harold 'Jersey' Flegg 1933

#2 barnyia

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 04:19 PM

hello

daniel wagon has signed up as player coach, and chris walker has been demoted to the st esteve treize catalans team.

i believe they're trying to get him to break his contract rather than the catalans sacking him!!!



#3 audois

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:49 PM

QUOTE (barnyia @ Sep 21 2010, 05:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
hello

daniel wagon has signed up as player coach, and chris walker has been demoted to the st esteve treize catalans team.

i believe they're trying to get him to break his contract rather than the catalans sacking him!!!


Barnyia. Thanks for that. I'd heard something about that with Chris Walker. Wait and see I suppose.

Are your lads getting ready for their first league match? Nice set-up at Villeneuve Minervois. Must make return trip soon.

si tu (remi casty) devais envoyer un fax au president guasch?
"Un grand bravo pour tout ce que vous avez fait, et merci de m'avoir embarqué dans cette aventure."


"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959


"It involves matters much greater than drafting the new rules...the original and existing games have their own powerful appeal to their players and public and have the sentiments which history inspires"
Harold 'Jersey' Flegg 1933

#4 Wendall

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 09:20 PM

Whats Walker done this time?



#5 barnyia

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 07:13 AM

He's not done anything!!! thats the problem, i've heard he's not interested and just enjoying the good life in the south of france. they hope that putting him in the lower grades may force him out, but the same money to play at a lower level!!!!

Thanks Audois we where getting ready but the games have been cancelled for the french rl's magic weekend.

The game to come to see, will be against villeghailanc xiii,players from both teams are good mates and most of us played together last year for le cabardes in elite 2. the text messages between the players have started already. i believe its on the 17th october.



#6 barnyia

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 07:16 AM

also audois

check out the site www.dragonsgavatx.fr then the galerie, there's over 100 photos of the game plus photos of all the elite finals and frederale games.



#7 audois

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:57 AM

QUOTE (barnyia @ Sep 22 2010, 08:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He's not done anything!!! thats the problem, i've heard he's not interested and just enjoying the good life in the south of france. they hope that putting him in the lower grades may force him out, but the same money to play at a lower level!!!!

Thanks Audois we where getting ready but the games have been cancelled for the french rl's magic weekend.

The game to come to see, will be against villeghailanc xiii,players from both teams are good mates and most of us played together last year for le cabardes in elite 2. the text messages between the players have started already. i believe its on the 17th october.


Barnyia. Got the 17th marked down. As you say a local Derby against Villegainhenc. The one positive from Cabardes folding is that its created another club and strengthened may be your lot. Its looking on the surface anyway exciting this year in the Aude with eight local village clubs. The best in ages. Le Lauquet and Preixan both new set-ups just south of Carcassonne. Around Lezignan with Homps, Ferrals, Ornaisons and Servies en Val. Should they have gone with just a local Aude league this year? Should get some decent turn outs there anyway.

si tu (remi casty) devais envoyer un fax au president guasch?
"Un grand bravo pour tout ce que vous avez fait, et merci de m'avoir embarqué dans cette aventure."


"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959


"It involves matters much greater than drafting the new rules...the original and existing games have their own powerful appeal to their players and public and have the sentiments which history inspires"
Harold 'Jersey' Flegg 1933

#8 audois

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 10:15 AM

The ASC treizistes are a bit embattled this year with the local union mob now in Pro2 - 2nd tier comp and throwing their chests out. Anyway the Canaris will surely stand their ground. Last night they held their annual AGM in the town hall with nearly 300 in attendance giving the local council representatives present room for thought. Even though they have still recruited from far a field - Luke Swain was present - the clubs President indicated that the re-structuring of the club was still their main goal. They're developing a type of junior Academy - they now run two U21 sides - and are at last getting out into surrounding villages setting up new schools of rugby to build on the major one here in Carcassonne, the MJC. So with the additional development at surrounding junior clubs like Villeneuve Minervois the game is more than holding its own.
si tu (remi casty) devais envoyer un fax au president guasch?
"Un grand bravo pour tout ce que vous avez fait, et merci de m'avoir embarqué dans cette aventure."


"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959


"It involves matters much greater than drafting the new rules...the original and existing games have their own powerful appeal to their players and public and have the sentiments which history inspires"
Harold 'Jersey' Flegg 1933

#9 Matt J

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 11:40 AM

QUOTE (audois @ Sep 21 2010, 12:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
..snipped...


Good read, thanks cool.gif

Cummins Out.


#10 ShotgunGold

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 12:06 PM

What percentage of Elite One and Elite Two players are French/North African?

Does it vary hugely between clubs or are they all quite consistent in the number of Aussies/Kiwis they have?

Is there a foreign quota like in Super League?

What are fans saying about the forthcoming European Cup? For it, against it, optimistic, excited, not expecting anything but a win, worried about any teams in particular, much faith in Goulding etc etc One of the games is being held at Albi Tigers home ground isn't it?

Thanks for any answers.

#11 Cliff Spracklen

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 06:06 PM

QUOTE (ShotgunGold @ Sep 22 2010, 01:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What percentage of Elite One and Elite Two players are French/North African?

Does it vary hugely between clubs or are they all quite consistent in the number of Aussies/Kiwis they have?

Is there a foreign quota like in Super League?

What are fans saying about the forthcoming European Cup? For it, against it, optimistic, excited, not expecting anything but a win, worried about any teams in particular, much faith in Goulding etc etc One of the games is being held at Albi Tigers home ground isn't it?

Thanks for any answers.


I take it when you stroke French/North African players together you see them both as French. Before I respond about Aussies/Kiwis I it is worth reminding ourselves that there are many players of Arab or Berber origin, from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Having done some academic research for Carnegie on the subject of identity amongst such players, I can state categorically that they see themselves first and foremost as French, though proud of their origins. This applies whether they were born in France or came to France from North Africa. The more famous players are such as Jamal Fakir, Younes Khatabbi, Amar Sabri, Said Tamghart etc. Some are practising Muslims, some lapsed but all are proud of their roots and Frenchness.
The largest number are of Moroccan origin, but there are plenty of algerian or Tunisian origin. In France you have Club chairs, directors, coaches and referees of North African origin, which is an interesting comparison with say Asian populations here.
But re Aussies/Kiwis one of the constant arguements in France has been about limiting the number of overseas players, as in the UK. Certain clubs have a long history of bringing in Aussies/Kiwis etc. Pia, a small village of 4,000 inhabitants, near to perpignan has a tradition of Aussie Coaches and players, and buying success in the golden years just before the rise of Lezignan. The Aude clubs of Carcassonne, Lezignan and Limoux hve also usually had a few antipodeans. A The arguement has been two ways. On the one hand it stifles development of local players, on the other hand the presence of Aussie players/coaches raises stasndards.
it was felt there might be a further reduction in the number of overseas signings, but the elite clubs voted against it. Instead the Fedweration brought in a complicated formula where clubs can have as many as they like but pay a premium to the Federation on an increasing scale for each extra overseas player. A financial disicentive to having too many.
Clubs like Lezignan have always had a strong Junior set up, so they could argue they were doing more than most in development terms, so could justify overseas signings as well. Other clubs development has been patchy. It has improved considerably at Carcassonne but there was atime when it was not so developed. Ditto Limoux. I can remember a time when Pia did not have a Junior team, but it is a requirement for Elite clubs these days, and Pia has had several juniors loaned out to the Dragons Junior programme.. The clubs that have put the most into development besides Lezignan, gave been Avignon abnd Carcassonne. UTC is slightly different as there is now the link with the Dragons. Toulouse have an excellent Junior set up, but most of their Juniors last year, and increasingly this new season will be turning out for St Gaudens in the Elite, under the new St Gaudens-Toulouse banner.
There are sometimes difficult dynamics within French clubs, as the antipodeans are ofdten on a contract, whilst the fRench players are on lesser contracts or even match terms.
This surfaced at Pia this summer, when Christophe Calegari, who made French call-up squads last year, dropped a division to Elite 2 neighbours Palau, because he thought, 5rightly or wrongly, that the Pia Board was treating French players less well, in comparison with overseas players.
But French Elite club budgets have been under threat and there is no sign of this going away, apart from Lezignan who are an increasingly professional operation in every sense.
Of course Aussie back packers have a great tradition of just turning up, finding a bar job, and playing for less, which is why you can find the odd one or two below elite level. But it is rare for an Elite 2 club to recruit directly from Oz, and Elite 2 side RC Lescure Arthes Minotaurs, in the Tarn, not far from Albi caused a sensation when they signed Aussie Adam Shaw last season.
What you have seen this year are an increasing number of players coming to France from the UK, whether UK based Aussies or Brits. Limoux haveproclaimed their Welsh connection this time round, w3hilst Lezignan Coach Aurelien Colgni has close links to the Crusaders.

#12 barnyia

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 07:34 AM

QUOTE (audois @ Sep 22 2010, 11:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Barnyia. Got the 17th marked down. As you say a local Derby against Villegainhenc. The one positive from Cabardes folding is that its created another club and strengthened may be your lot. Its looking on the surface anyway exciting this year in the Aude with eight local village clubs. The best in ages. Le Lauquet and Preixan both new set-ups just south of Carcassonne. Around Lezignan with Homps, Ferrals, Ornaisons and Servies en Val. Should they have gone with just a local Aude league this year? Should get some decent turn outs there anyway.

hello

All the clubs wanted a local aude league but the aude commitee left it too late, as the clubs recieved the fixtures at the beginning of september,it was too late to change the fixtures. when the aude clubs saw that we had 3 mini leagues mixed with the catalans we weren't very happy.so the the comite de l'aude have decided to have another competition running alongside the original competition with two leagues of 4 who play each other home and away then play cross league games for different cups, 1st v 1st for the aude cup, 2 v 2 for the shield and so on, so infact we've lots of games and lots of cups for no real reason. why have it simple when you can make it difficult!!!

Its a shame has they've put the 4 strongest teams in one league and the weakest in the other!!!!

Carcassonne are pushing strongly with junior development they have a rugby school in the city and lots of sattelite clubs in the surrounding villages which are coached and helped out by the carcassonne club and the players are under the carcassonne club.

since the catalans started new clubs are appearing eveywhere in the rl stronghold of the south. pity the media coverage is terrible everywhere else.if you see rugby league in the national papers in franceit's because someone has been caught for drugs or the french national team have lost with 70 points, even in local papers in carcassonne(which is very good for rl) you struggle to find the toulouse results.

alan

#13 audois

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 10:16 AM

QUOTE (barnyia @ Sep 23 2010, 08:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
hello

All the clubs wanted a local aude league but the aude commitee left it too late, as the clubs recieved the fixtures at the beginning of september,it was too late to change the fixtures. when the aude clubs saw that we had 3 mini leagues mixed with the catalans we weren't very happy.so the the comite de l'aude have decided to have another competition running alongside the original competition with two leagues of 4 who play each other home and away then play cross league games for different cups, 1st v 1st for the aude cup, 2 v 2 for the shield and so on, so infact we've lots of games and lots of cups for no real reason. why have it simple when you can make it difficult!!!

Its a shame has they've put the 4 strongest teams in one league and the weakest in the other!!!!

Carcassonne are pushing strongly with junior development they have a rugby school in the city and lots of sattelite clubs in the surrounding villages which are coached and helped out by the carcassonne club and the players are under the carcassonne club.

since the catalans started new clubs are appearing eveywhere in the rl stronghold of the south. pity the media coverage is terrible everywhere else.if you see rugby league in the national papers in franceit's because someone has been caught for drugs or the french national team have lost with 70 points, even in local papers in carcassonne(which is very good for rl) you struggle to find the toulouse results.

alan



Alan

I see the Louis Bonnery has responded on behalf of the regional LR league. I agree with him in that the structural problems partly been caused by the growth in clubs - giving 19 this year. Hopefully next year that both Roussillon and Aude have seperate comps at least to start with.
si tu (remi casty) devais envoyer un fax au president guasch?
"Un grand bravo pour tout ce que vous avez fait, et merci de m'avoir embarqué dans cette aventure."


"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959


"It involves matters much greater than drafting the new rules...the original and existing games have their own powerful appeal to their players and public and have the sentiments which history inspires"
Harold 'Jersey' Flegg 1933

#14 audois

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 10:54 AM

QUOTE (ShotgunGold @ Sep 22 2010, 01:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What percentage of Elite One and Elite Two players are French/North African?

Does it vary hugely between clubs or are they all quite consistent in the number of Aussies/Kiwis they have?

Is there a foreign quota like in Super League?

What are fans saying about the forthcoming European Cup? For it, against it, optimistic, excited, not expecting anything but a win, worried about any teams in particular, much faith in Goulding etc etc One of the games is being held at Albi Tigers home ground isn't it?

Thanks for any answers.


I always get the feel that Carpentras are the most North African influenced of the French clubs with the Khattabis and Tamghart clans on board as well as the people who run the club. Recently they picked of a St Esteve player Yacine Boutouba who was a mate I think of the Khattabis when they played at the Dragons.

Both the Khattabi brothers from what I've seen should be in the Tricolores squad but it appears they are not interested. Last year they both played in the Morocco side which played in one of the European comps and also games against I think the NCL selection and France B. Said Tamghart seems to have some issues with the Federation regarding his non-selection. This year have Morocco played any fixtures at all? Is there some impasse between the French Federation and Morocco.

The USC union lot in Carcassonne now in the sixteen team Pro2 have I believe a largely French team. Last year the ASC had five overseas players in a comp with just nine clubs. Lezignan say if you believe the papers a budget this year touching €1M with Pia and Carcassonne following with around €750,000. The rest with a third of that and thus you have a competition of two speeds. The Federation are twisting arms of clubs to go up with reluctant takers.

Having the likes of Swain and Leuluai straight out of Super League obviously raises the standards and in an ideal world they would both be better going to the promoted Montpellier. The saving grace though is that the progressive clubs along with the Federation are now I think seriously looking at getting more kids and juniors involved. One of the best developments of late is the Roosters U20 and Catalan Academy U18 involement in the Valvoline Cups with top British sides.

Edited by audois, 23 September 2010 - 10:57 AM.

si tu (remi casty) devais envoyer un fax au president guasch?
"Un grand bravo pour tout ce que vous avez fait, et merci de m'avoir embarqué dans cette aventure."


"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."
Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959


"It involves matters much greater than drafting the new rules...the original and existing games have their own powerful appeal to their players and public and have the sentiments which history inspires"
Harold 'Jersey' Flegg 1933

#15 Mister C

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:28 PM

How is the increase in clubs made up? New clubs? Reformed clubs?

and are these all around the Dragons or are we making inroads further afield?

Sorry for all the questions!

Edited by Mister C, 23 September 2010 - 12:32 PM.


#16 barnyia

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:19 PM

QUOTE (Mister C @ Sep 23 2010, 02:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How is the increase in clubs made up? New clubs? Reformed clubs?

and are these all around the Dragons or are we making inroads further afield?

Sorry for all the questions!

hello

alot of the new clubs have come fom old clubs from higher levels breaking up and creating extra teams at lower levels; here in carcassonne le cabardes were in elite 2 last year and have stopped, just from the cabardes team 4 teams have been formed or reformed, each team has 3 or 4 players from cabardes and the rest are new players from football or handball, the cost for cabardes playing in elite 2 was enormous considering its around 1500 euros for a bus and a driver for the day.the long trips around france including paris, lyon and entraigues, the closest away game was toulouse which is 1 hours drive, and there is not much amateur sport in france, not many people play for free, also the cost of a playing licence in elite 2 is quite expensive,

the clubs being formed are mostly all in the stronghold and around perpignan its massive now, the dragons are having a good effect but only in the stronghold as the rest of france never hear anything about league,






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