Is Catalans’ recruitment damaging the international game?

There’s no doubting that Catalans have been one of the most entertaining teams in Super League this season, with their new additions adding to an already fierce Dragons side.

But is the club’s recruitment of talented overseas stars affecting the development of France’s international side? While Warrington star Benjamin Jullien didn’t go as far as saying just that, speaking in League Express this week, the 21-year-old did state that French players are seeing their chances of playing for the country’s best team dwindle as more and more foreign imports arrive at the club.

“The Catalans Dragons have a lot of Australian players and the French lads don’t have much chance of playing, unfortunately,” Jullien said, who has made a good impression since breaking into the Warrington team following his arrival from Avignon, bypassing a stint at the Dragons.

Gadwin Springer is another example of a player to recently arrive in Britain, with Castleford’s front-row forward now starting to flourish under Daryl Powell.

At the same time, the Dragons still have numerous French stars, with Romain Navarette making his debut in the club’s victory over Huddersfield, with Navarette one of nine French players in the Catalans team that defeated the Giants, although by the same token that number would drop if the likes of Krisnan Inu, Paul Aiton and Dave Taylor were all available for selection.

One of the original reasons the Dragons were accepted into the Super League, along with the obvious benefit to increase the profile of Super League, was to help improve the country’s international side, but it would appear certain French players are not happy with how things are going.

France’s results on the international stage were underwhelming last year. A shocking 84-4 defeat against England was followed by a second placed finish in the European Championships, losing to Wales.

You can read the full piece with Jullien in League Express, which is available online at this link.  Jullien discusses Warrington, France and more in one of several must-read articles.