Trent Robinson to spearhead France World Cup effort

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson will team up again with former Catalans Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous to take charge of the France national team ahead of this autumn’s World Cup, the French Rugby League Federation has announced.

Former international stand-off Frayssinous had been named as Ottawa head coach before the Canadian club put its plans on hold. He was assistant to Robinson at the Catalans until 2013, when he took over as the Dragons’ head coach, and now he has replaced Aurélien Cologni at the head of the national side.

Cologni, currently coach of Lézignan in the domestic Elite 1 competition, had been in charge of the France team since 2016, his contract running until the end of 2021.

Robinson, who left the Catalans for Sydney at the end of the 2012 Super League season and won the NRL Premiership in his first year, has been named as director of rugby and is expected to have an influential role, which may extend beyond the World Cup. His appointment is seen as a huge boost for the French national team.

Former international frontrower David Collado, who has a wide experience of coaching in the domestic championship, has been appointed team manager.

Frayssinous, 43, spent four years in charge of the Dragons, standing him in good stead for the national role, in which the Perpignan club is expected to play a big part. The Federation, under its new president Luc Lacoste, has set its sights on France regaining a place in the world’s top five nations. In the forthcoming World Cup, the French have been drawn in Group A, alongside England, Greece and Samoa.

Robinson will work alongside Frayssinous while maintaining his role with the Roosters, with whom he has won three Premierships. The 43-year-old first arrived in France to play with Toulouse Olympique, the club he went on to coach.

He told the NRL website: “I owe so much to French Rugby League and the country as well, from a coaching perspective but also from a family perspective, so it was a really simple choice for me when this opportunity arose.”

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