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Rugby League in France “has to get its act together”

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Rugby League in France “has to get its act together” or face extinction according to a leading advocate of the international game and a former...

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The Federation here is a side show and has been for along time. The iconic Paul Barriere who was behind the first World Cup in France in 1954 was such a hard act to follow. I don’t think anybody has got near to him unfortunately. Differents times of course.

This century Nicolas Larrat at least saw how the game was evolving. He was at Wembley in 2007 to see the Dragons playing infront of a crowd of more than 80,000. Carlos Zalduendo followed and had pushed strongly Toulouse Olympique including a Challenge Cup semi final appearance in 2005. He missed out on a Super League place to Catalans and subseqently saw his club fail to make an impact across the Channel 2010-12.

Bernard Guasch at Catalans iconic too in what he’s acheieved – two Wembley appearances and established a record Super League regular season crowd in Barcelona last year. Over at TO following Carlos departure from his rôle at the club and then the Federation Presidency has been followed in the 'ville rose' by the impressive Bernard Sarrazain. Fortunately now the two major clubs are working hand-in-hand seriously for the first time.

In 2020 we will have the two double headers at Stade Ernest Wallon and Headingley bringing together the two French professional clubs against Leeds and London Broncos. This Friday TO are coming to Stade Gilbert Brutus to partake in joint training session ahead of their pre-season match Saturday week between the two sides, This match will be organised by the local Carcassonne club who will put on a post match banquet. Last weekend too the Dragons went to Lezignan to support the club’s inaugration of their new stand attracting a near 5,000 crowd. The clubs here are coming together and pulling their weight at last I feel.

Edited by audois
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"It involves matters much greater than drafting the new rules...the original and existing games have their own powerful appeal to their players and public and have the sentiments which history inspires"  - Harold 'Jersey' Flegg 1933

"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."  - Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

Si tu( Remi Casty) devais envoyer un fax au Président Guasch? " Un grand bravo pour ce que vous avez fait,et merci de m 'avoir embarqué dans cette aventure"

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Of course we lack communication. let us not forget that it is he himself who has implemented the new eligibility rules which condemns the France team to be beaten by heritage teams  filled with Australian players ....

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www.fcl13.fr FCL XIII - Lezignan Corbieres Rugby League

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9 hours ago, fcl said:

Of course we lack communication. let us not forget that it is he himself who has implemented the new eligibility rules which condemns the France team to be beaten by heritage teams  filled with Australian players ....

France shouldn’t be blaming any organisation or individual than themselves if their national team can’t perform against sometimes 10th string Australians or worse.

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19 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

France shouldn’t be blaming any organisation or individual than themselves if their national team can’t perform against sometimes 10th string Australians or worse.

He was blaming themselves. 

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les catalans have been very succesful.  other than that though its been a disappointment re the french national team.  

its a shame the bosses of super league / esltone dont see why parachuting toulose is a very good thing.

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2 hours ago, Eddie said:

He was blaming themselves. 

Indeed, it was someone else on here looking to use eligibility rules as an excuse.

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1 hour ago, aj1908 said:

les catalans have been very succesful.  other than that though its been a disappointment re the french national team.  

its a shame the bosses of super league / esltone dont see why parachuting toulose is a very good thing.

With what, more Aussies?

The whole piece is about improving the game with the French public, especially in participation levels, filling the 2 pro french teams with 'foreigners' is a double edged sword, it may bring short term relative success but it does nothing for those French lads who may want to make a career from the game there will always be those from overseas available and utilised by the clubs to fill the places there will be far more opportunities for the French lads who prefer to play the 'handling' game to make a living at union.

AND, it will not only be France affected the UK is going down the same road, the whole RL world is fast becoming an annexation of the game in Australia, it has happened in the International Arena already the teams of Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Lebanon, Italy, Cook Islands, Greece are all but Australian except for the teams name.

The domestic game in France is in a position that North America will not acheive in the next 50/100 years, emphasis and investment would be better utilized in France building on the foundations that have been in place for near on 90years than across the Atlantic if we really want the game to prosper.

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The situation in France is not glorious but receiving lessons from someone who has been in the system for decades is quite ironic, We must not forget that Tas baitieri was coach of the France team (and took also more than 50 points against Great Britain), he knows very well all the people who have had responsibilities of rugby XIII in France in the last 30 years, He himself has contributed and put in place the rules of eligibility at international level which are totally a fig leaf. One of the worst decisions you could make for France and other historic rugby league nations like Papua New Guinea and all that to make money.

Going back to the topic, imagine that one day an English leave the club in the NRL championship and become more powerful and richer than the RFL. A club that would be more important than the national team ! . As is the case in France. I think that you English have a role to play in our development and rather than welcoming our clubs to your championship. It would be very interesting if you could play the role of mediator between the dragons and our federation.

Edited by fcl
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www.fcl13.fr FCL XIII - Lezignan Corbieres Rugby League

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5 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

With what, more Aussies?

The whole piece is about improving the game with the French public, especially in participation levels, filling the 2 pro french teams with 'foreigners' is a double edged sword, it may bring short term relative success but it does nothing for those French lads who may want to make a career from the game there will always be those from overseas available and utilised by the clubs to fill the places there will be far more opportunities for the French lads who prefer to play the 'handling' game to make a living at union.

AND, it will not only be France affected the UK is going down the same road, the whole RL world is fast becoming an annexation of the game in Australia, it has happened in the International Arena already the teams of Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Lebanon, Italy, Cook Islands, Greece are all but Australian except for the teams name.

The domestic game in France is in a position that North America will not acheive in the next 50/100 years, emphasis and investment would be better utilized in France building on the foundations that have been in place for near on 90years than across the Atlantic if we really want the game to prosper.

Thats a lot of guff you managed to fit in one post 

Well done 

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I've always thought if we were serious aboit developing French talent then it should actually be a cross SL effort. No team relies solely on their academy products and always promote from within so blaming Catalans is limited.

Imo there should be much greater links between the British and French games. That comes in all sorts of areas: Salary cap dispensation for French players at English teams to encourage them to sign, preseason tours of southern France, a joint cup perhaps?

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

I've always thought if we were serious aboit developing French talent then it should actually be a cross SL effort. No team relies solely on their academy products and always promote from within so blaming Catalans is limited.

Imo there should be much greater links between the British and French games. That comes in all sorts of areas: Salary cap dispensation for French players at English teams to encourage them to sign, preseason tours of southern France, a joint cup perhaps?

Yes 

More French players in other super league clubs would.be good 

Merge champ and elite would be interesting too 

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29 minutes ago, aj1908 said:

Thats a lot of guff you managed to fit in one post 

Well done 

Difference of opinion aj, you seemingly champion multiple venues where in RL terms all we are acheving is taking the circus to town using the misnomer that is called 'expansion' it is doing absolutley nothing expanding the game in terms of participants, as I said the foundations have been laid in France the building has seen better days, but with a good architect, not a great deal of money and a good building team it can be brought back to a very presentable structure.

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Couple of quick ones:

1) FFRXIII should state selection policy of picking players from Catalans, Toulouse and RFL championship or higher. Use Elite system as pathway to professional. Reassess when there’s sponsors/broadcast $ for Elite 1.

2) Super League and NRL should allow 2 squad places cap exempt for tier 2 and 3 domestic players as part of an International Development Program. 

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5 minutes ago, dealwithit said:

Couple of quick ones:

1) FFRXIII should state selection policy of picking players from Catalans, Toulouse and RFL championship or higher. Use Elite system as pathway to professional. Reassess when there’s sponsors/broadcast $ for Elite 1.

2) Super League and NRL should allow 2 squad places cap exempt for tier 2 and 3 domestic players as part of an International Development Program. 

Disagree on the 1st point I think the best way forward for french game is to improve the French Elite 1 to a similar standard as UK Championship and make French Elite One have the potential of P & R to Super League for French sides or merged entities, thereby preserving any potential French broadcasting Rights deal for Super League!

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I have always felt that French RL was of it's time ie the 50s and as life has moved on it has remained in that era, People have gained new interests, the all consuming Soccer has established itself at the front of people's thoughts whilst RL has tried to carry on with small towns and villages at the forefront, not forgetting the injustices it has suffered atthe hands of union and it's influence it has nationally and locally in government.

Without the disastrous fallout from the war when it's assets were commandeered never to be returned it mirrors much of what has happened in this country except we seem to have a stronger club base to work from.

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1 hour ago, Harry Stottle said:

Difference of opinion aj, you seemingly champion multiple venues where in RL terms all we are acheving is taking the circus to town using the misnomer that is called 'expansion' it is doing absolutley nothing expanding the game in terms of participants, as I said the foundations have been laid in France the building has seen better days, but with a good architect, not a great deal of money and a good building team it can be brought back to a very presentable structure.

So if your criteria is inability.to produce sufficient players locally.how many English teams do you suggest culling? 

And for the purposes of rugby league in England there are.hundreds of Australian players who are good enough for your league 

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2 hours ago, aj1908 said:

So if your criteria is inability.to produce sufficient players locally.how many English teams do you suggest culling? 

And for the purposes of rugby league in England there are.hundreds of Australian players who are good enough for your league 

I'm sorry aj1908 I'm trying to understand your point here and I just don't get it. Can you be more explicit about what you mean?

I agreed with Harry that we are not doing enough to bring kids into our game at junior school level (and nurturing them as they grow).

Community development work is (or should be) part of the games marketing strategy.

(Its always the elephant in the room in these discussions.)

For me, it's the most important and most reliable way of bringing in new people to our game (and crucially, keeping them for a lifetime).

The populous religions of the world know this very well, that heathen (pagan, goyim, infidel) adults are virtually impossible to convert and make no effort to recruit from that group

Until we acknowledge this and wholeheartedly embrace it we will always struggle to embed and grow the game anywhere.

Incidentally, I also believe it is absolutely, the most cost-effective way of building a fan-base.

When detractors whine about the cost, we should make sure we do full-scope, long-term-accounting and consider the life-time value, to the game of young devoted enthusiasts. They go on to become the games, players, coaches, fans, club founders, pioneers, political advocates, zealots, newspaper reporters and commentators, sponsors and sympathetic business and TV company representatives.

What are we waiting for? If the game is in decline, the time to start is now, before we lose the wherewithal to begin.

.

Edited by fighting irish
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3 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Indeed, it was someone else on here looking to use eligibility rules as an excuse.

The eligibility rules are what they are but it does disproportionately affect France.

If we played a team of players france developed against a team of players developed in any other country bar the big three and maybe PNG, France would run riot.

It's hard to blame the french for not producing as many players as the NRL. 

I'm not against the eligibility rules per se but we need to address the issue of causes with countries who do develop players (outside the big 3)

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45 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

The eligibility rules are what they are but it does disproportionately affect France.

If we played a team of players france developed against a team of players developed in any other country bar the big three and maybe PNG, France would run riot.

It's hard to blame the french for not producing as many players as the NRL. 

I'm not against the eligibility rules per se but we need to address the issue of causes with countries who do develop players (outside the big 3)

even PNG can benefit. Without the contribution of Australian players, they probably would not have beaten Great Britain recently


www.fcl13.fr FCL XIII - Lezignan Corbieres Rugby League

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In France we have some very talented young players, I've contacted a couple of super league academy clubs to see if they're interested in forming a partnership with our u19s, we have French Junior internationals playing in our 19s and first team who could easily play academy /reserves and push onto first grade super league with the right environment, we have a great first grade coach who inregrates them into the first team training and squad, but they need a pro environment to really make the next step up. I've only ever received a reply from salford saying they're sorry but they don't have an academy team, 

If you are young and don't go to the xiii catalans team /set up the highest you can go is elite 1 and by the time you're 24 having missed out on the extra training /coaching , playing elite 1 and have a steady job you're not going to leave to go to toulouse or the UK as it's already too late, 

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Last night in the most prestigious hotel in la Cité the press conference for the forth coming TO-Dragons game. A pre-season friendly game yes but being presented as something quite special. Marked audacious and professional. Centre stage the two Co-Presidents of the  Carcassonne club Francis Camel and Dr.Christian Valero welcomed the respective leaders of the participating clubs Bernard Sarrazain and Bernard Guasch along with coaches Sylvain Houles and Steve McNamara. Joined up thinking.

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Edited by audois
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"It involves matters much greater than drafting the new rules...the original and existing games have their own powerful appeal to their players and public and have the sentiments which history inspires"  - Harold 'Jersey' Flegg 1933

"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."  - Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

Si tu( Remi Casty) devais envoyer un fax au Président Guasch? " Un grand bravo pour ce que vous avez fait,et merci de m 'avoir embarqué dans cette aventure"

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Is the Toulouse Olympic Vs Catalan Dragons game being played in Carcassonne?

Would be great if pre Super League/Championship season French Knockout Tournament could be arranged this time next year featuring Aude Cathars Rep side Vs Toulouse Olympic & Catalan Vs Provence-Alps-Cote D'Azur Rep side, with a final the following week & 3rd vs 4th place game as a double header?

Edited by kiwis 13 6

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I don't know with France just seems very disappointing outside dragons and Toulouse. 

The national team has gone backwards since dragons being in Sl. while never a superbly attended league the elite has dropped off alot in last few seasons. The 2 major finals in lord derby and championahip lucky to get 5000 through gate last year.

The 2013 world cup games attracted huge crowds but it's not been taken advantage of. There no tv deal locally for dragons which is major concern given there challenge cup win should have seen spike in appeal.

There a major strategic nation for our code but I don't have the answer clearly. I believe some test football has to be taken back to Paris it would have to be v big 3.

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