French Rugby League is hoping to be back on top of the world this week when its wheelchair team takes on England in two Test Matches, both of which will be streamed on the BBC red button.
The double-world champions head to the Medway Sports Park in Kent for the fixtures on Wednesday and Saturday, with joint-coach Laurent Dupuy promising an explosive contest between “the two greatest rivals” in the sport.
The French team has been on an intensive training programme designed to take part in this year’s postponed Rugby League World Cup following 18-months of inaction due to Covid restrictions.
However, Dupuy believes they are ready to roll and he is confident they can maintain their position as the leading nation in the sport.
He said, “The players are in very high spirits for this confrontation against our best enemies. They know that this is the first step towards winning the supreme title next year.
“What better way to prepare for the future World Cup than to be able to play what could possibly be the Final a year in advance?
“We are fortunate to have a generation of very good players, a mixture of experience and enthusiasm who ride hard, who live well and who know how to do a lot of things. The most difficult remains, to win the ultimate trophy and this tour is an important move in that direction.”
French Federation President Luc Lacoste recently met with government ministers in Paris in a bid to have the wheelchair version of the game recognised as an elite sport.
Lacoste told League Express: “Wheelchair Rugby League is one of the priorities for the Federation so we went to plead high level status for this category of athletes.
“I am confident that we have presented a positive argument to the government and that we will have a positive outcome.”
FFRXIII Wheelchair squad to face England: Guillaume Mautz, Julien Verdi, Yann Verdy (Avignon); Adrien Zitten (Arbent); Jérémy Bourson, Gilles Clausells (capt), Nicolas Clausells, Arno Vargas (Catalans Dragons); Max Cabanne, Thomas Duhalde, Julien Penella (Euskadi); Lionel Alazard (vice capt), Dany Denuwelaere.
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