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The Daddy

France have to build their team around Marion & Goudemand

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The key to any good team is the spine. A team with good players in the core positions in RL normally does well. You will find that with the successful Australian national teams and the Wigan teams in the 90s.

The spine in RL is full back, the halves, loose forward and hooker. 

If France are going to close the gap between them and the top 3, they must establish which young players NOW will form that spine between now and the 2021 World Cup. 

Two of those players, I have admired over the past year are Anthony Marion and Mickael Goudemand. Both players are great team players with really good core skills, vision and leadership qualities. 

Goudemand made his debut today for the Dragons scoring two tries and I would love to see much more of him in SL this season. Marion continues to play well for TO. 

These are the guys along with Fages, Albert and Miloudi that will help France close the gap between them and the top three. That's potentially a really strong spine of a team that can develop in the next few years. 

 

Edited by The Daddy
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I think what is even more encouraging is the fact that there is beginning to be real competition for places. Escare/Miloudi at full back without even mentioning the guy who played for them in the WC.

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I saw France during the World Cup. I thought their skill level was good but without any real size they can not compete in the modern game. There is a natural flair in their DNA but what they lack is size and punch up front.

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3 minutes ago, Random tiger said:

I saw France during the World Cup. I thought their skill level was good but without any real size they can not compete in the modern game. There is a natural flair in their DNA but what they lack is size and punch up front.

I suspect you're right, RT.  How utterly depressing!

if you look at the size of the French players who, on tour half a century ago, opened the eyes of the Australian players and public to how our game could be played, they were mostly under six foot and not grotesque parodies of normal male physique!

As I say, how utterly depressing...

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There's always room for skilled little guys in the spine. It's great to see France producing them. But yes, their forwards did look a bit small in the World Cup. I think their second rowers, in particular, could do with more size. The game has moved to big power athletes on the edges, and France need a couple of them to compete with the top nations.

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11 hours ago, Random tiger said:

I saw France during the World Cup. I thought their skill level was good but without any real size they can not compete in the modern game. There is a natural flair in their DNA but what they lack is size and punch up front.

Yes a lack of go forward. Batieri for example is very committed and seems a great character to have around however he's not quite big enough for the international level required to compete with Oz. French Union isn't short of Money so I would suggest thats where there are probably a lot of players with the size required ......Unfortunately French RL has a small player pool, and does reasonably well given this - they have no heritage players , yet on their day if all players were Fit, have a decent 17 to stay competitive with Eng, NZ and Oz (within 20 points). Rack up a few injuries and its tough for them as little depth.

Taking out heritage players, France would be the 4-6th nation in the world, competing with Fiji and PNG for this ranking. 

For Spine - Escare at HB, Fages at HB, Gigot at FB,    For LF and Hooker I cant think of anyone who springs to mind as really excellent, and on these 3 guys level (all 3 would be first 17 at almost any SL club).

At Hooker, Pelisser I like a lot as a player, yet I can see he has disipline issues , same goes for Miloudi. Da Costa I like the look of too, as he shows good passion, and has improved when given a game this year.  At LF Garcia who has good talent about him too competing with Julien. So thats probably the spine for me.

Gigot, Escare, Fages, Garcia, Da Costa,   (Catalans have their issues, however its amazing how many players they bring through all of these either came through or play for them now)

 

Edited by Southerner80

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15 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

I suspect you're right, RT.  How utterly depressing!

if you look at the size of the French players who, on tour half a century ago, opened the eyes of the Australian players and public to how our game could be played, they were mostly under six foot and not grotesque parodies of normal male physique!

As I say, how utterly depressing...

Can you tell me at what point in the game's history teams didn't benefit from having a big set of forwards?  

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On ‎5‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 12:28 PM, Saint 1 said:

Can you tell me at what point in the game's history teams didn't benefit from having a big set of forwards?  

My observation, Saint 1, was not specifically about forwards; that refinement seems to come later in the thread than my previous contribution.  Random Tiger made an observation about the French team as a whole.

Like you, I take it as a given that some size is helpful, but I fear we nowadays see too much emphasis on it, sometimes at the expense of guile and skill.  In my more optimistic moments, I do see some smaller players thriving (and Fages again this weekend reminded us that a good, round-the-legs tackling technique is a commendable thing, arguably too rarely seen, even in some two or three-man tackles)

To specifically answer your query, try this team for size (literally!):

full back - 5' 3" (11 stone 0 lbs)

wings - 5' 9" (12 4) and 5' 8" (11 11)

centres - 5' 8" (11 11) and 5' 5" (11 0)

half backs - 5' 8" (12 4) and 5' 5" (11 11)

props - 5' 9" (13 5) and 5' 9" (13 8 lbs)

hooker - 5' 7" (12 10)

2nd row - 6' 1" (15 4) and 5' 10" (14 9)

loose forward - 5' 9" (13 8 lbs)

My worry is that, nowadays, half of those players would be told they were too small and/or too light for professional RL and should think about trying another sport.  And in my more grumpy moments, it is that which I find depressing.

For the record, that's the French team that won the first test in Sydney in 1951 by 26 points to 15, and by all accounts opened the eyes of the Australian public to how the game could really be played!  So there is one point in the game's history where a team didn't benefit from having a big set of forwards.

Edited by Wiltshire Warrior Dragon
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4 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

My observation, Saint 1, was not specifically about forwards; that refinement seems to come later in the thread than my previous contribution.  Random Tiger made an observation about the French team as a whole.

Like you, I take it as a given that some size is helpful, but I fear we nowadays see too much emphasis on it, sometimes at the expense of guile and skill.  In my more optimistic moments, I do see some smaller players thriving (and Fages again this weekend reminded us that a good, round-the-legs tackling technique is a commendable thing, arguably too rarely seen, even in some two or three-man tackles)

To specifically answer your query, try this team for size (literally!):

full back - 5' 3" (11 stone 0 lbs)

wings - 5' 9" (12 4) and 5' 8" (11 11)

centres - 5' 8" (11 11) and 5' 5" (11 0)

half backs - 5' 8" (12 4) and 5' 5" (11 11)

props - 5' 9" (13 5) and 5' 9" (13 8 lbs)

hooker - 5' 7" (12 10)

2nd row - 6' 1" (15 4) and 5' 10" (14 9)

loose forward - 5' 9" (13 8 lbs)

My worry is that, nowadays, half of those players would be told they were too small and/or too light for professional RL and should think about trying another sport.  And in my more grumpy moments, it is that which I find depressing.

For the record, that's the French team that won the first test in Sydney in 1951 by 26 points to 15, and by all accounts opened the eyes of the Australian public to how the game could really be played!  So there is one point in the game's history where a team didn't benefit from having a big set of forwards.

I generally take issue with this argument because at senior level it doesn't really hold up to much scrutiny. Those players would never be told they were too small and/or too light if they were good enough. Additionally, if those players were around today, they would be much bigger than that - both the fact that the average height is increasing but also modern nutrition and strength and conditioning would mean they gain lots of mass without losing speed. There are plenty of big blokes running around amateur level, there aren't many that are skillful to professional levels. 

A great article on this topic is here - http://rugbystrengthcoach.com/kind-rugby-player/ This is written by the former Head of Strength & Conditioning at Sydney Roosters, and yet even he says: "Unfortunately for strength coaches, physical development rarely tends to be the distinguishing factor between professional players. Rather, it is the non-physical factors like technical, tactical and psychological development that are the difference makers. Premiership academy teams abound with big, strong, fast, powerful young players that would put a lot of international players to shame in the gym. Many of them never come close to playing international rugby, because of severe deficiencies in the other areas."

Of the team you mentioned, we'll look at the players in the spine since you said you weren't specifically talking about forwards. Cameron Smith, despite being 6 inches taller than the hooker mentioned, is only 9kg heavier. The average Brit has grown 2 inches and 6kg since 1950. Adjusted for that, Cameron Smith would be 4 inches taller and 3kg heavier - is that a massive difference to you? Adjusted for increased averages by then, Thurston is no taller and 3kg heavier than the halfback.

The likes of Matt Dufty, Ashley Taylor, Bevan French, even Ben Barba and Danny Richardson closer to home are all evidence that you can be successful without being a "grotesque parody of normal male physique" if you are good enough. The fact that strength and conditioning gets better every year is not counter-evidence to this. 

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On ‎5‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 5:29 AM, Random tiger said:

I saw France during the World Cup. I thought their skill level was good but without any real size they can not compete in the modern game. There is a natural flair in their DNA but what they lack is size and punch up front.

The great thing about this day and age people can put on a lot of weight if need be. Actors do it all the time (Tom Hardy Bane). Greg Inglis did it a few years a go. He was a tall skinny kid who turned into an unstoppable muscle beast. 

http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/nrl/greg-inglis-to-play-nrl-season-at-110kg/news-story/973d43a2639db4cefd5fc18d845ca71e?sv=4398ef05a3b92dce657dc625d07e596e

Sports science these days is a wonderful thing. Some of your very good French forwards could find the "ideal weight" if they had access to a good professional trainer. 

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On 12/05/2018 at 9:29 PM, Random tiger said:

I saw France during the World Cup. I thought their skill level was good but without any real size they can not compete in the modern game. There is a natural flair in their DNA but what they lack is size and punch up front.

I tend to agree but there is size available. On saturday I watched Bousquet, Simon and Maria play and they looked big and strong enough to me ! At Toulouse Canet, Puech, Boyer and the quickly developing Sangaré look decent too.

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3 hours ago, B rad said:

The great thing about this day and age people can put on a lot of weight if need be. Actors do it all the time (Tom Hardy Bane). Greg Inglis did it a few years a go. He was a tall skinny kid who turned into an unstoppable muscle beast. 

http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/nrl/greg-inglis-to-play-nrl-season-at-110kg/news-story/973d43a2639db4cefd5fc18d845ca71e?sv=4398ef05a3b92dce657dc625d07e596e

Sports science these days is a wonderful thing. Some of your very good French forwards could find the "ideal weight" if they had access to a good professional trainer. 

Actors use all kind of stuff (the illegal kind).

The thing is size nowadays is defined by polynesian players standards, scientifically known as heavier people. A quarter of all Samoan has a "big guy" gene, basically making them 15 pounds heavier.

Our forwards still are big guys but rather than muscle, I think we lack heigh and it's not surprising given that most of our guys come from Perpignan/Aude/Avignon. Toulouse might change that.

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2 hours ago, Hvy wg said:

Actors use all kind of stuff (the illegal kind).

The thing is size nowadays is defined by polynesian players standards, scientifically known as heavier people. A quarter of all Samoan has a "big guy" gene, basically making them 15 pounds heavier.

Our forwards still are big guys but rather than muscle, I think we lack heigh and it's not surprising given that most of our guys come from Perpignan/Aude/Avignon. Toulouse might change that.

Agree with this. Out of the current crop, asides from Bousquet they are all fairly short. Baitieri, Garcia, Navarette have a low centre of gravity. Maria, Springer and Casty aren't short but I wouldn't say they're giants either. The positive thing is that some younger players coming through have the potential to be bigger. Sangare, Seguier, Belmas, Le Cam and Bled are naturally bigger than the older players. Plus some of the players in TO's U19 such as Lima and Fourquet are also bigger. These guys are the future. 

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14 hours ago, Saint 1 said:

I generally take issue with this argument because at senior level it doesn't really hold up to much scrutiny. Those players would never be told they were too small and/or too light if they were good enough. Additionally, if those players were around today, they would be much bigger than that - both the fact that the average height is increasing but also modern nutrition and strength and conditioning would mean they gain lots of mass without losing speed. There are plenty of big blokes running around amateur level, there aren't many that are skillful to professional levels. 

A great article on this topic is here - http://rugbystrengthcoach.com/kind-rugby-player/ This is written by the former Head of Strength & Conditioning at Sydney Roosters, and yet even he says: "Unfortunately for strength coaches, physical development rarely tends to be the distinguishing factor between professional players. Rather, it is the non-physical factors like technical, tactical and psychological development that are the difference makers. Premiership academy teams abound with big, strong, fast, powerful young players that would put a lot of international players to shame in the gym. Many of them never come close to playing international rugby, because of severe deficiencies in the other areas."

Of the team you mentioned, we'll look at the players in the spine since you said you weren't specifically talking about forwards. Cameron Smith, despite being 6 inches taller than the hooker mentioned, is only 9kg heavier. The average Brit has grown 2 inches and 6kg since 1950. Adjusted for that, Cameron Smith would be 4 inches taller and 3kg heavier - is that a massive difference to you? Adjusted for increased averages by then, Thurston is no taller and 3kg heavier than the halfback.

The likes of Matt Dufty, Ashley Taylor, Bevan French, even Ben Barba and Danny Richardson closer to home are all evidence that you can be successful without being a "grotesque parody of normal male physique" if you are good enough. The fact that strength and conditioning gets better every year is not counter-evidence to this. 

Thanks for you thoughtful reply, Saint 1.

I take your point about average size increasing, but also note hvy wg's comment about the tallness of the population in RL areas of the south of France (well, at least some of them)

 

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15 hours ago, Saint 1 said:

I generally take issue with this argument because at senior level it doesn't really hold up to much scrutiny. Those players would never be told they were too small and/or too light if they were good enough. Additionally, if those players were around today, they would be much bigger than that - both the fact that the average height is increasing but also modern nutrition and strength and conditioning would mean they gain lots of mass without losing speed. There are plenty of big blokes running around amateur level, there aren't many that are skillful to professional levels. 

A great article on this topic is here - http://rugbystrengthcoach.com/kind-rugby-player/ This is written by the former Head of Strength & Conditioning at Sydney Roosters, and yet even he says: "Unfortunately for strength coaches, physical development rarely tends to be the distinguishing factor between professional players. Rather, it is the non-physical factors like technical, tactical and psychological development that are the difference makers. Premiership academy teams abound with big, strong, fast, powerful young players that would put a lot of international players to shame in the gym. Many of them never come close to playing international rugby, because of severe deficiencies in the other areas."

Of the team you mentioned, we'll look at the players in the spine since you said you weren't specifically talking about forwards. Cameron Smith, despite being 6 inches taller than the hooker mentioned, is only 9kg heavier. The average Brit has grown 2 inches and 6kg since 1950. Adjusted for that, Cameron Smith would be 4 inches taller and 3kg heavier - is that a massive difference to you? Adjusted for increased averages by then, Thurston is no taller and 3kg heavier than the halfback.

The likes of Matt Dufty, Ashley Taylor, Bevan French, even Ben Barba and Danny Richardson closer to home are all evidence that you can be successful without being a "grotesque parody of normal male physique" if you are good enough. The fact that strength and conditioning gets better every year is not counter-evidence to this. 

In Australia I think a lot of that may be true as they have a much wider talent pool, over here less so I'm inclined to say. Its not just RL but as a basic rule of thumb if you had a choice between a big guy and a smaller guy for the same position at which both were just about as good at most scouts/coaches would be conservative and go for the bigger guy. Basically the point being that for smaller lads now they have to be exceptionally good to get noticed.

On topic though, I'm glad the French team seems to be filling out and its great to see French talent at more SL clubs than just Catalans, that had to be the future IMO and hopefully this will expand.

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Marion got his debut and in my view was the best French player on the park against England. Goudemand played 2nd row which was a big ask but he's had a decent season for the dragons has signed a 3 year deal, he's only gonna get better. 

It's really important that France find their spine: 

FB: Miloudi

SH: Gigot 

SO: Robin

LF: Goudemand 

HK: Marion with Pelissier impact off the bench 

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Compete with Australia?!? France need to focus on competing with Lebanon before they think about anything else.

Their forwards are soft by international standards. Size is important yes but there’s much more to it than that. Being an ok super league player isn’t going to cut it at international level. France have no world class players, that is a problem if you want to win international games.

if France played in super league they would finish bottom. A lot of work needs to be done to produce a French team capable of challenging 7th or 8th ranked teams let alone tier 1 nations.

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35 minutes ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

If Tony Gigot plays FB all year and wins the Lance Todd Trophy at FB, why would/should France play an erratic, raw winger at FB?

Because I feel that you have to have control and composure in the key positions such as scrum half and stand off. I'm not sure that any other French halves have that. Although he's a full back on the team sheet he's played like an extra half in the big games for cats and France just need his presence, assuredness and composure that leads to strong game management. Barthau makes too many errors and it impacts the teams ability to build confidence and pressure. Game management is so important in RL. Fages is clearly talented but gets targeted on the edges too much. Robin and Gigot at half have a bit more composure than Barthau and Fages and my opinion was very much reinforced last night. 

Edited by The Daddy

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Someone else said this on this forum years a go but I'm going to steal it. France need to do what ever they can to get Trent Robinson grand final winning Roosters coach and ex coach of the 2 French teams currently playing in the Super League (He was a defensive coach as well so he might reduce some of the big scores against them). Only so much a coach can do with the cattle he has, but I still think he can bring the national French team up a few notches. Sign him up for the next 2 RLWCs would be close to the best thing they could do. 

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2 hours ago, winnyason said:

Gigot is world class. Picking he in centres is ###### dumb. Fullback or 6.

 

Agree. I'm just not convinced about this coach though. His selections are baffling to say the least. I'd like to see Trent Robinson also or a McNamara & Houles combo 

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2 hours ago, The Daddy said:

Agree. I'm just not convinced about this coach though. His selections are baffling to say the least. I'd like to see Trent Robinson also or a McNamara & Houles combo 

Who knows. Robin a better half than barthau on form. Hell put julian in centres with ader. The pack the issue and can't hide fact without casty, maria, simon, garcia, pelissier they look terrible. They get through euros with couple of wins. But france as far away as there ever been from england at test level. 

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