The former captain of France and Toulouse Olympique, Georges Aillères, was honoured at a prestigious ceremony in Paris last week.
Aillères, who led France to the 1968 World Cup Final and was capped 34 times, was inducted into Les Gloires du Sport Français, a national Hall of Fame that covers all sports.
He becomes only the third Rugby League player to be honoured in this way, following Puig-Aubert and Elie Brousse, who were both stars of the legendary 1951 tour of Australia.
Nicknamed ‘The Cube’, Aillères was a front- or second-row forward who led Toulouse to victory in the 1965 Championship Final, the first in the club’s history, as well as playing in four Cup Finals.
An emblematic figure at the club, he went on to coach the team before taking over as club Chairman.
At the age of 87, Aillères was not well enough to travel to Wednesday’s ceremony, which took place at the headquarters of the Comité National Olympique et Sportif Français next door to Charléty Stadium, the one-time home of Paris St-Germain.
His medal was received on his behalf by Luc Lacoste, the President of the French Rugby League Federation. France’s Minister of Sport, Roxana Maracineanu, a former world swimming champion, also figured among the recipients of the award.
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