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#3167408 French Update

Posted by audois on 29 July 2015 - 11:57 AM

I was under the impression that the Dragons weren't forking out a lot or even anything for the U19s Academy players.They have far higher costs to cover than the other English Academys with travel and accommodation bills to cover. With the latter including billeting lads with familys in the Perpignan area.


Avignon U20s won both cup/league comps last season. Its a great nursery for the code in France. Guigue, Khattabi, Duport, Pala, Garcia and Yaha started up there. 17,000 there for Kiwis in WC. Its a fine balancing line to make sure top lads can progress and the existing set-up continues to produce. Yaha and Romano came from the Vaucluse in the first wave.

#3166720 Wigan-Catalans in London

Posted by audois on 28 July 2015 - 12:48 PM

They're talked about going up to the capital for a while now. Some where expecting it to happen this year. They've already played Wigan twice in the regional capital Montpellier and last time out where rewarded with a 13,000 turn out. Wonder whether they'd play it at Stade Charlety where the first ever Super League game took place PSG-Sheffield. Other alternative the new Stade Jean-Bouin where Stade Francais now play.


#3166081 French Update

Posted by audois on 27 July 2015 - 01:01 PM

I picked up somewhere that Benjamin Jullien presently on loan at North Wales Crusaders has signed a professional contract for Warrington. Any confirmation.


A bit disappointed to hear that Mickael Goudemand who starred with Lucas Albert and Levy N'Zoungou for France U18s Academy in the win against England has signed apparently for RC Toulon. Benjamin Garcia I think toyed with the idea a few years back but instead went off to Brisbane to play Holden Cup.


Elsewhere 21 year old prop Clement Boyer from Toulouse Olympique played off the bench yesterday for Halifax in their home win against Bradford.

#3156812 Lucas Albert set to make debut.....

Posted by audois on 12 July 2015 - 01:27 PM

Back rower Mickalezyk back from his stay in Sydney with Roosters. Will debut with the Dragons U19s today at Widnes. Think this is the lad ball in hand.


#3156437 French Update

Posted by audois on 11 July 2015 - 12:45 PM

I well remember a good decade back at Carcassonne with what up to eight antipodean blokes flying in and out regularly. But I didn't think it was taking the game anywhere locally at all. Villeneuve sur Lot who yesterday apparently got the green light to reform and play in Elite 1 from September look like following the Avignon model with just local lads on board. After 2006 when the Dragons came along followed by Toulouse I thought something must change behind that. Its taking time but its moving in that direction now. Palau,St Esteve and possibily Toulouse Broncos followed by the ASC will be all French too from next term. They started with 8 teams last year but will have one additional this time round. Could possibily facilitate the return quite quickly of the likes of St Gaudens, Lyon and Carpentras even if the budgets are reduced.

#3155211 Clubs recruiting more from French local league - Who's the next crop to s...

Posted by audois on 09 July 2015 - 10:28 AM

Clement Boyer Toulouse to Halifax


The 21 yr old prop with 50 plus games for Toulouse it has been reported re-signed for the French club but will guest with Halifax until the end of the present Championship season.

#3152861 French Update

Posted by audois on 05 July 2015 - 12:12 PM

Whitehaven keep up their French contingent by signing Thibaut Ancely to replace Sigismeau. Straight into the squad for tomorrow's match.


Ancely played in the pack last season for Lezignan and had a couple of run outs for the Dragons back in 2011. Be interesting how Catalans U19s impacts the link with St Esteve next term. Rather than run the latter themselves have a link up with other local team Palau as well.


With three sides possibily traversing the Channel in 2016 if we include Toulouse the game here at some type of cross road. Outside those formations factor in the now steady stream of French players now linked to both SL and Championship clubs. Its certainly focusing the minds of treizistes here of the role of the local competitions and their function. May be, just may be a glimmer on the horizon this autumn with the Tricolores. Not expecting miracles just yet but hoping for a turning of some kind that France can get off its hind legs at last. Wont be easy as the Pacific nations lot dipping into the NRL big time are also improving year on year.

#3152453 French Update

Posted by audois on 04 July 2015 - 12:05 PM

Excellent news for Les Cats, important they kept him. Now for Pelissier.........


As far as I know Pelissier is already under contract - with Henderson heading home by all accounts the French hooker should be in pole position next term. With Pomeroy and Oldfield expected to move on to pastures new in 2016 there are only the situations of Anderson and Dureau of the overseas lads to be resolved . The Kiwi is playing out of his skin presently so I would be surprised if he isn't retained - a popular bloke who has really taken to life down here.


After Gigot and Baitieri re-signed this past week along with Bousquet who also had his contract extended to 2017 a few weeks back that just leaves Mounis and Maria of the French players to be sorted. Pity about Cardace but the sudden arrival of Yaha and the returning Gigot has put him further back in the pecking order. But Gigots spectacular re-birth hopefully will be a reminder to other French players that once discarded you're done for.

#3150993 Chevaliers Cathares Update

Posted by audois on 02 July 2015 - 10:09 AM

In an interview this week with the Midi-Olympique rugby paper one of the driving forces behind the Chevaliers Cathares the young President of Carcassonne Monier revealed that the project was still very much alive ("plus que jamais!"). He has spoken with his colleagues at both Limoux and Lezignan and they appear very much on board.. They hope the regional entity will play the Dragons again early in 2016 and an English side also is expected to be on their horizons too. Monier is to approach the RFL about the Cathares putting a side in the Challenge Cup as soon as possible.


A place the Cup would be an exciting development. Was present back in 2002 at St Gaudens when they played host to the first ever CC tie played in France against Halifax. Under Lewis the knockout competition laid the scene for the renovation of the game here with Villeneuve and Toulouse following behind and paving the way for eventual arrival of the Dragons in SL in 2006. Having the likes of Halifax returning and other top Championship sides visiting the Aude region would be a real boost.

#3145732 French Update

Posted by audois on 23 June 2015 - 10:17 AM


Yes its just primary school kids having a go but there are nearly 1800 of them ! And whats more up in Lyon where the game struggles to reassert itself. Takes some organising with sixty referees and all that.


Elsewhere turmoil at Carcassonne with skipper Sadaoui and Guiraud two pillars of the club reported to be on the way out. Wind blowing through the local comp with budget cuts everywhere. If there is a silver lining it could see the likes of St Gaudens, Lyon, Villefranche, Montpellier and Carpentras being able to rejoin the top tier.

#3142720 French Update

Posted by audois on 18 June 2015 - 10:35 AM

..audois..are there many under 19's teams in France ..and what would the attitude be to playing games in Ireland for them clubs /teams ???merci


The Juniors are U21s next age group up after Cadets (U17s). All the Elite 1/2 are supposed to field U21s (18 teams). France play England Academy U18s annually now as well as the Australian Schoolboys which is really raising the standard I think. For me these formations are crucial to the development of the game and should be a priority. France do well with what they have  presently but the reservoir is still not big enough. I doubt there's many more than 30 sides in each these age groups. Its a big challenge


I'm not aware of these age groups at club level tour at all; tend to be schools of rugby up to say U15s.

#3141535 French Update

Posted by audois on 16 June 2015 - 12:01 PM




Good to hear things on the move in the Tarn especially with Albi appearing to be ready to take the step up to the top tier. Also after news that a Castres side could be about to be put in place up at the top end of the department a long awaited return for a new set up at Carmaux X111 (see above) and with that moniker a twinning with Fev may be appropriate! Doesn't stop there either as green shoots sprouting up may be at St Pierre de Trivisty and St Juéry too. Throw in the autumn international v Ireland at Albi things on the up in that region.


Elsewhere in positive mode hear things progressing down on the Riviera - after Toulon now news that Nice X111 about to take off too.

#3137235 Fages-Albert

Posted by audois on 08 June 2015 - 11:56 AM

Lucas Albert is not yet 17 years old but kicked the Dragons U19s and France U18s to memorable victories all in the space of two weekends recently against Wigan and England Academy opposition. I'd heard stories about him around Carcassonne where he was introduced to the game. His father has trained the ASC in recent times as well as a reporter for the local paper. The international game was an eye opener though - the stand off looked to me a spitting image of a young Stacey Jones; the way he played and in appearance too. Days later I was chatting to Jean Cabrol the mine host at Chez Felix on Place Carnot about the lad and with out any prompting he uttered Kiwi maestro's name too!


In todays paper here for first time talk of the possibility of the youngster making a SL debut sooner than later. But Frayssinous wants him to stay exactly where he is for the moment to continue his development at the appropriate level. Of course its all conjecture and a lot can happen in teenage years on and off the field for a young prospect like this. His parents are teachers I think and that may assist or not his development.


Theo Fages of course left Perpignan at about the same age as Albert is now for Salford and has impressed in his years away. Wouldn’t it be great for France and the treize to see this pairing mature into something quite,quite special – dare we talk of the best half backs possibily since who Entat-Dumas in the late 1980’s. We can but dream.

#3137170 French Update

Posted by audois on 08 June 2015 - 10:40 AM

Catalans U19s fell away after an hours play v Wire Friday (26-12) after being in front at the break against the 4th ranked side.Picked up somewhere that the home side featured at least one of the new Avignon contingent hooker Veve. Was this a first then when there were more French players on the park than Englishmen in a game between two SL clubs.

#3135401 French Update

Posted by audois on 05 June 2015 - 10:51 AM

Catalans U19s entry to the SL U19s competition has been confirmed for next season after this year's transitional period.


Yes great news and another major hurdle got over in their quest to be a top club. This year they will have played 14 games arranged randomly - they'll be at the HJ tonight as curtain raiser to the SL clash with Wire. Only Leeds and Wigan have made the effort this year to cross the Channel. In both these games just a couple of points seperated the sides.