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1 hour ago, barnyia said:

Pity the french players are only keen to play in the world cup. The dragons players normally get pulled out of friendlies 

Maybe Trent Robinson will come into his own there, in a low profile behind the scenes sort of way, and that old custom will change for the better.

Likewise, and going back to Manfred's point, he might have a conversation beginning, "Jason, mon ami..."!

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Update 34 players for second meet-up again in Bordeaux 30th,31st May 1st June. Pushing the boat out - encouraging. 14 from the Dragons and 10 from TO. Indicates the rise of the latter I think.

Laurent Frayssinous, sélectionneur et David Collado, manager du XIII de France dévoilent ce jour la liste des 34 joueurs pour le premier rassemblement de l’équipe de France masculine, les 2 & 3 ma

This is especially sad and  unnecessary because Jason’s father Tas has worked tirelessly to help build and sustain rugby league in France. 

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2 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

Maybe Trent Robinson will come into his own there, in a low profile behind the scenes sort of way, and that old custom will change for the better.

Likewise, and going back to Manfred's point, he might have a conversation beginning, "Jason, mon ami..."!

I think Trent will make more players want to play for France for sure. 

Eloi is back so maybe Batieri come the WC can be talked into a comeback for the National Team.

France IMO could upset Samoa if all goes right for them and Milford etc have a really bad day.

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5 hours ago, barnyia said:

Pity the french players are only keen to play in the world cup. The dragons players normally get pulled out of friendlies 

I don’t think that’s fair on the players, Catalans understandably don’t want to lose 10+ players and have to play a club fixture the same week, but then they shouldn’t have to.

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1 hour ago, Southerner80 said:

I think Trent will make more players want to play for France for sure. 

Eloi is back so maybe Batieri come the WC can be talked into a comeback for the National Team.

France IMO could upset Samoa if all goes right for them and Milford etc have a really bad day.

There’s more chance of Samoa winning the group than France beating Samoa.

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15 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

There’s more chance of Samoa winning the group than France beating Samoa.

Maybe but you never know .....

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1 hour ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

There’s more chance of Samoa winning the group than France beating Samoa.

Yea there is, but France could beat Samoa, and Samoa could beat england, so roll on November. The 

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8 hours ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

There’s more chance of Samoa winning the group than France beating Samoa.

On paper Samoa look very impressive, but they have a poor coach and a track record that suggests they're more interested in hanging out with their mates than taking the games seriously. We'll have to wait and see if any of that has changed, perhaps seeing what has happened to Tonga will encourage them to raise their aspirations a bit.

"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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7 hours ago, nadera78 said:

On paper Samoa look very impressive, but they have a poor coach and a track record that suggests they're more interested in hanging out with their mates than taking the games seriously. We'll have to wait and see if any of that has changed, perhaps seeing what has happened to Tonga will encourage them to raise their aspirations a bit.

Samoa beat PNG 24-6 in the 2019 Oceania Cup when PNG beat Great Britain 28-10. Anyone who thinks Samoa are not a real force will be in for a shock.

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4 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Samoa beat PNG 24-6 in the 2019 Oceania Cup when PNG beat Great Britain 28-10. Anyone who thinks Samoa are not a real force will be in for a shock.

Go back and look at Samoa's performances across a period of time, they consistently underperform.

"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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14 hours ago, Eddie said:

Yea there is, but France could beat Samoa, and Samoa could beat england, so roll on November. The 

Absolutely, I can’t wait for it. I think you can close to guarantee Australia will win Group B and Fiji be 2nd, as in group Tonga will win the group and PNG will likely be 2nd. Group C New Zealand will be winners and the 2nd place spot is fair game for anyone. Group A is the hardest to call but I expect England and Samoa to qualify.

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3 minutes ago, nadera78 said:

Go back and look at Samoa's performances across a period of time, they consistently underperform.

You could say the same about Tonga until 2017. Samoa are a sleeping giant in Rugby League too, they have so many top quality NRL players to pick from.

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6 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

You could say the same about Tonga until 2017. Samoa are a sleeping giant in Rugby League too, they have so many top quality NRL players to pick from.

I mean, that was literally what I said in the first post...

"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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1. How they are prepared and coached

2. Player attitude 

These are the two things that will define what France will do at the World Cup. So often they are beaten before they take the field because of 1 and 2.

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8 hours ago, nadera78 said:

On paper Samoa look very impressive, but they have a poor coach and a track record that suggests they're more interested in hanging out with their mates than taking the games seriously. We'll have to wait and see if any of that has changed, perhaps seeing what has happened to Tonga will encourage them to raise their aspirations a bit.

Very valid comment based on past performance however I think there are a few key indicators they they're ready to have a Tonga-esque breakout tournament.

Firstly, the Panthers Samoan boys have all openly voiced their commitment to taking Samoa to the next level, each indicating Samoa is their number one priority with respect to representative football. The guys in question (Luai/To'o/Chrichton/Leniu/etc.) are all big competitors who very proudly display their heritage and are integral parts of a very successful side over the last 18 months.

Additionally, by Marty Taupau pulling out of NZ to opt for Samoa they gained their first genuine defector. Undoubtedly inspired by the Tongan boys, I would not be surprised if there was further coordination in the background to entice other top tier players to commit on the back of the potential Samoa has. In any case amongst the youth available there will be a core of senior players that are passionate for the cause and determined to make the side a success. 

Finally, there is undoubtedly more depth and talent than Samoa has ever had before. In previous squads a couple of injuries would see them dip into reserve-graders however that won't be the case this tournament, quality players will miss their first 17. 

Coaching is key as you have said and there is certainly some indication that Parish may not be up to par on that front. Interestingly enough, tonight Junior Paulo was on the Matty Johns show and revealed Andrew Johns had keenly voiced his intent to join Samoa's coaching setup for the WC and Matty concurred that he would be interested in engaging too. While in isolation that may not mean much, to me it says that there are definitely people behind the scenes who are passionate and want to see Samoa follow in Tonga's footsteps. I would hate to jinx them but I really do think they will give England a very good game in that pool.

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On the core topic of the thread France really got a bit unlucky with their group. England/Samoa are probably just a step too far for them at this stage though they appear to be headed in the right direction re their international setup. On the flip side, Greece should be a relatively comfortable win which may be a good way to ease into the tournament.

Would have been very interesting to have seen France in any of the other groups however, in particular C and D. Potentially a few matchups within those groups that would be within grasp and create some exciting clashes. Hopefully between now and the following WC such games will come to fruition.

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4 minutes ago, Cumbrian Mackem said:

Is big Tino of Samoan heritage?

Yeah he is, he made his debut for them in 2019. Suspect he could make the Australian squad for the end of the year so will be interesting to see where his allegiance would lie if such a situation came about.

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3 minutes ago, UTK said:

Yeah he is, he made his debut for them in 2019. Suspect he could make the Australian squad for the end of the year so will be interesting to see where his allegiance would lie if such a situation came about.

Let’s hope he picks Samoa.

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9 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

I hope he picks Samoa, but it’ll make England’s opening fixture all that tougher. 

If we do lose to Samoa but still qualify 2nd place we’ll likely face Tonga in the Quarter Final.

It will but for the quality and reputation of the World Cup we need as many strong teams as possible 👍

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Been watching some Carcassonne highlights recently and been impressed with the second rower Vincent Albert. He's a big lad, I'm just surprised that he hasn't been picked up by TO or Catalan or another SL club 

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20 hours ago, The Daddy said:

Been watching some Carcassonne highlights recently and been impressed with the second rower Vincent Albert. He's a big lad, I'm just surprised that he hasn't been picked up by TO or Catalan or another SL club 

He plays mostly in the centres. Cousin to Lucas I think and played in Catalans U19s Academy team. Canet and skipper Escamille regulars in the second row.

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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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1 hour ago, audois said:

He plays mostly in the centres. Cousin to Lucas I think and played in Catalans U19s Academy team. Canet and skipper Escamille regulars in the second row.

So why don't players like Vincent get picked up by the top two French clubs or another SL club? 

I'm also impressed by the young full back Sophien Bitigri, big and quick. This Carcassonne team has some great players which can play at a higher level 

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Bitgri was picked up from elite 2,he reminds me of fred banquet with a bit of nonchalanche but a very good player. Not all players can risk going to toulouse or catalans as they're full time. Its not that easy to leave a job to go and play for peanuts and there being a very strong chance you won't  get a game. At 18/19 yes. A little older and it's not really an option. 

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