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The Daddy_merged

French youngsters progress report

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Can any of our french league afficianados update us on the progress of some of the youngsters from the french youth team who beat the AIS and England youth a year or two ago as some of them were tipped for big things.

I know Fages is doing ok at Salford and Ben Garcia is playing Toyota Cup for the Brisbane Broncos.

How about Joan Gausch, Karim Madani, Hakim Milhoudi, Margalet, Bissyiere and some of the others are any of them expected to break into SL anytime soon?

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A couple of them are playing infrequently for St Esteve. I think Bissiere is a starting halfback at Avignon. AFAIK, the rest aren't on the radar and are playing in youth teams somewhere.

It's going to be difficult for any of them to do anything really given that there is already an oversaturation of talent at Catalans, and the rest of the SL clubs seem to be oblivious to their existence.

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Guasch and Margelet will play in their first major Grand Finals Sunday at Brutus against Pia. The latters development has been hindered by several long term injuries & played off the bench against Lezignan last weekend in the semi. Madini I think will play in the curtain raiser for St Esteve against Carcassonne.. The disappointment for me is Milhoudi who had been announced alongside Cardace as future threequarter hopes at the Dragons and reported to have signed four year contracts. While Cardace has already played SL as a teenager Milhoudi just seems to have upped sticks and taken himself off to nearby Palau and is playing Elite 2 level.There he is scoring tries for fun playing I reckon well below his potential.Same as half back Marginet who is a real wanderer.I suppose the discipline of full time professionalism doesn't fit in with some teenagers. I remember a few years back Younis Khattabi's brother Ismael was a fine forward prospect but I dont think he could handle it. He's running around presently also at Elite 2 level at Carpentras. The Avignon stand off Bissiere is a fine player from what I saw in the regular season match against Limoux. He should be playing weekend after next against the same opponents in his first Lord Derby Coupe Final at Carcassonne.

With Garcia and Gigot in Australia, Fages at Salford and Pelissier,Escare and Bousquet coming through at the Dragaons the overall picture looks pretty healthy to me.

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So the Catalans of St Esteve are Champions of France at U21 level after their 39-30 win over Carcassonne at Stade Brutus yesterday. The Catalans younger side than ASC. This is how it goes there.The St Esteve Elite 1 side who lost to Pia 33-26 following the juniors Final also fielded seven juniors and they move up when youngsters like Escare and Pelissier reach SL level.

Karim Madini got two tries for the Catalans but it was his second row partner Ugo Perez and prop Hadrien Domergue who impressed most I understand with a fine all round performance from half back Amine Milhoudi who grabbed 7 goals & a drop; presume he is the younger brother of Hakim who's gone off to Palau.

A fair few on show yesterday will now assemble in Carcassonne next week in preparation for France-England Academy clash up at La Reole at the end of the month.

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