The management team for St Helens and France half-back Theo Fages have issued a statement in response to an article in Monday’s issue of League Express.
“Theo Fages’ agents, TM Group UK, have expressed their disappointment in the inaccurate facts given by the French Federation to League Express reporter Mike Rylance’s report in this weeks League Express regarding Theo’s refusal to play for the French National Team.
“Our Client, Theo Fages, was contacted a number of weeks before the 26-man squad was announced by the new French head coach Aurelien Cologni to ask if he was available for selection, Theo made him aware in this conversation that he was struggling with his knee injury and would not be likely that he would fit in time. A further 3 conversations had taken place and on each occasion our client advised him he was not fit to take part due to the knee injury he suffered mid-season.
“We were expressly surprised to see Theo included in the 26-man squad despite previously advising the federation that he was injured, both his club and TM Group UK have tried to make contact with Mr Cologni on a number of occasions however, without responding they have issued disciplinary proceedings against our client, for which we will challenge through the appropriate channels should they progress these inappropriate actions.
“We are aware the French Federation have been in contact with both the RFL and the International Committee, however St Helens have submitted the relevant medical reports to all parties concerned.
“We would have expected more from the French Federation, and to communicate with the player, his club or his management agent rather than being childish and sending disciplinary letters out of the blue without any prior communication.
“Our client, Theo Fages, is extremely proud to represent and captain his country and should he have been fit then of course he would have been available to play. As he did last year when most of the squad decided to back out at the last minute.”