CupWatch #5 - France

Discussion in 'World Cup 2021' started by adamkungl, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    There's no bigger or more frustrating problem in International Rugby League than where France is vs where they could/should be.

    Their best roster features 17 players with Super League experience - but we've never seen their best roster on the park.
    They have a long history, proud heritage, and strong club scene - but it doesn't translate into professional league athletes.
    They have home grown players and a strong record at junior level - but are sliding down the rankings behind teams that feed on NZs leftovers.
    They have the finances to tour - and waste it on a second string team to get flogged by Australias youth team.

    Harsh? Maybe. But few would argue that things should be better. The weird and disappointing 2019 tour saw Jason Baitieri, their captain and the son of one of RLs most prominent international directors, quit mid-tour in apparent disgust at the lack of professionalism. This doesn't bode well for their World Cup lead-in unless there are some major changes, which we've got no wind of yet. It seems as if professional French players have little faith in the national setup.

    Nevertheless... the positives are all still there and waiting to be harnessed by the right administration. It wouldn't take much to get France back in the top 5. So we keep hoping and overestimating, maybe this time is the time.

    Best 17:

    1 Kheirallah (Toulouse)
    2 Yaha (Catalans)
    3 Ader (Toulouse)
    4 Miloudi (Toronto)
    5 Marcon (Toulouse)
    6 Fages (St Helens)
    7 Albert (Catalans)
    8 Casty (Catalans)
    9 Da Costa (Catalans)
    10 Bousquet (Catalans)
    11 Garcia (Catalans)
    12 Jullien (Catalans)
    13 Baitieri (Catalans)

    14 Escare (Wigan)
    15 Navarrete (Wakefield)
    16 Simon (Catalans)
    17 Springer (Toronto)

    After a disappointing showing in the last World Cup, 2018 saw them walk through the European Cup pretty easily.
    2019's tour to Australia and New Zealand saw few of their best players travel and was ultimately wasted.
    2020 they will again compete in the European Cup, going in as favourites against Italy and Scotland in the group stage.
    They are also reigning champions in the Euro U19s and will hope to defend their title in Italy in September.

    They need games against higher opposition, outside the European Cup. But currently nothing scheduled.

    WC Pool Opponents:
    England
    Samoa
    Greece

    Crucial Game: Samoa.
    They'll handle Greece with ease, you would think.
    They'd love to push England but realistically I don't think anyone believes they will. So whether they make those quarter finals or spend another 4 years in disappointment will likely come down to a big game against Samoa. I expect this to be one of the games of the tournament.

    Predicted Finish: Pool exit in 3rd place
    Would love to be wrong on this. Heart says they can beat Samoa, who are on current form weaker than Tonga, PNG and Fiji. But head says i've over-estimated France too many times before. Samoa won their last meeting 22-6, back in 2013 at a home game for France.
    But - get their best squad under a quality coach and who knows what can happen.
     
  2. Green_

    Green_ Juniors

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  3. Green_

    Green_ Juniors

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    Really enjoying these posts Adam, keep them coming! Personally, I would have Gavin Marguerite on the wing – bloke is an absolute beast.

    On another note, do we know where Gigot has ended up after cutting ties with Catalan? He would be massive inclusion at RLWC21 for the Les Chanticleers if he sticks around.
     
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  4. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    There's quite a few more players available, they have some serious depth IF they can convince them all to play. I've leaned towards listing more experienced names here, I'l admit I don't know a lot of them in depth so often go on previous selections, but happy learn more.

    Marguerite
    Romano
    Jussaume
    Bergal
    Robin
    Mourgue
    Seguir
    Dezaria
    Marion
    Pelissier
    Maria
    Goudemand
    Curran
    Belmas

    I count *at least* 31 players either signed up to Catalans, another Super League club, Toulouse, or London.
    But I suspect when Cup time rolls around there will still be part-timers out of Elite One in the starting 13.

    Gigot is unsigned currently and last I heard was looking at Union or Elite One
    You would think we would be a quality addition but it would be difficult to pick him if he's not playing or worse, playing Union
    Last rumour I can find online has him talking to Leeds a couple of weeks ago... pity Toronto are stuffed for cap because he'd slot straight into their spine no problems
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  5. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    Gigot is back.. for now.
    Tony Gigot has signed on a trial run for Toronto Wolfpack and club and player will both be hoping they can rearrange their cap to fit him in long term.

    IF Gigot plays Super League in 2021, he would slot straight into the start 13 at fullback or in the halves and would be a big boost to France's attack.
     
  6. Springs09

    Springs09 Juniors

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    The squad I'd like to see:
    Kheirallah, Marguerite, Escare, Miloudi, Yaha, Gigot, Fages
    Casty, Da Costa, Bousquet, Jullien, Garcia, Baitieri
    Albert, Springer, Simon, Goudemand
    Romano, Ader, Barthau, Pelissier, Dezaria, Navarrette, Maria

    Hopefully the players can band together and put a strong French performance on the park for once. Tell the admin to pull their heads in. Put a big performance in for 2021, bring some young players through Catalans and Toulouse and aim for the semi-finals in 2025.
     
  7. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    Reading between the lines, the issue might be that the national team environment lacks the polished professionalism of club football (even to SL standards which operate well below NRL budgets)

    An established nation like France can't expect professional footballers to step into a park football environment on national duty.
     
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  8. Green_

    Green_ Juniors

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    Give the coaching gig to Sylvain Houles and bring in Robinson in a 'coaching director' type role
     

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