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.