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We need to talk about Catalan..

Discussion in 'French Rugby League' started by Coastbloke, May 14, 2020.

  1. Coastbloke

    Coastbloke Bench

    May 31, 2005
    Likes Received:
    We do. Les Catalan Dragons that is..

    Sigh...Where do we start. Allright. I'll get it off my chest.. :rolling_eyes:

    Is Catalan needed in the English Super League? I mean, what have they seriously done for French Rugby League?

    Did French youth and yawnion players sign up to their local Elite clubs in droves when Catalan won the CC?
    Yes they did get a post 30,000 crowd in Spain soon after, but nothing after that.
    Do they try and play in places like Paris to showcase the team?
    Do we shed tears when we see their run on squads stacked with non French players?

    We've had a couple of posts in another thread recently that has suggested that in this Covoid-19 world that England's only hope for a Test is either a Exiles series (not a Test) or a Celt v England Series. Da Fuq?

    You know that country that has played Rugby League since 1934 and was once a powerhouse in the game. Our WC is named after a FRENCH League boss. But wait. We keep getting told the French don't want to play Tier 1 Nations (Thanks Pommy :wink:) And that it has to do with Catalan not releasing their players?

    Well, in that case what is the point of Catalan if they won't release their players? The whole idea of Catalan was to improve French RL. Well, the 2017 RLWC and last year's Int. Nines proved otherwise. Let's not even mention WIN Stadium..

    It is starting to look like that rather than improving the French team, it's becoming a actual stumbling block. Maybe it's time to rethink their place in the scheme of things? Same with Wales. France needs to seriously get it's act together with or without Catalan.

    I want to see a return to our shores of France and Wales in a competitive state. 1975 Aust def Wales 13-3 @ SCG in front of 25,000. Can you imagine that now? Our South Pacific neighbours are now providing solid Tests with each other and on occasion against Australia and the Kiwis. A Tonga or Samoa tour to England is now actually viable. I wanna see France or Wales in Australia at a packed Bankwest (at the very least) and be competitive. France should be playing England in October. Catalan seems to be the problem?

    Dakink likes this.
  2. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

    Jun 3, 2005
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    Re: France v England.

    In my draft ideas I had scribbled in that there should be a England v France 3 match series each year.
    But upon thinking about it a bit more.. I don't think it suits.
    Lets be honest - full test England would trounce France, as has been proven by France's results time and time again for the last 25 years. Do France deserve it? Arguably, no. England needs to assist their neighbours with growth but they also need competitive fixtures. Hence - Celtics/Exiles ideas.
    And one-off tests are uninspiring rubbish which I no longer think should form a key part of our calendar.

    However. England should be taking part in the biennial European Cup in a 4 Nations format.
    Forget 6N if England are involved - too many dud matches, too big a cap between top and bottom, too expensive for too little return. 4 is the superior format in every way.
    If England are in the European Cup, they play France at least once. And if France are any good, they play them again in the Final. There's 2 games every 2 years, with a trophy up for grabs. Every reason for France and England to put up their best players. If France (or one of the others) improve to England's level, such as Tonga have done, then we can bring annual best of 3 test series' back to the table.

    Re: Catalans

    Catalans have undoubtedly resulted in more French players in Super League. It doesn't bother me that they have half a team of imports. They need to stay up, first and foremost.
    Unfortunately more SL players has not resulted in more French success. I don't blame Catalans for this. Jason Baitieri's comments about the professionalism of the French team might explain why players don't put their hands up, rather than the club blocking them.
    The other issue is playing mid-season tests in a League that is already too packed with too many games. Without a fair international window, Catalans are up shit creek if they're supplying more than half of the French team.
  3. titoelcolombiano

    titoelcolombiano Bench

    Nov 21, 2010
    Likes Received:
    The French and Samoan national teams are in a similar boat at the moment it seems. Get the back office / coaching sorted and you may see a flood of players more committed to the cause and both will become more competitive.

    Catalan has been good for getting more French players into SL which would strengthen the French national team if said team had their shit together. My other concern is that the game hasn't secured a significant TV deal on the back of their presence. I can't blame this all on Catalans though, it would probably take a few French teams competing in SL for a French broadcaster to take note.
  4. yakstorm

    yakstorm Bench

    Oct 7, 2003
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    Since the Catalans have joined Super League, what have they done for French Rugby League...

    Are there more people playing the game?
    Yes, up from 7,000 registered participants, to 30,000 in 2012 and reported over 50,000 recently.

    Get more games on TV?
    Even this year, there is more than there was prior to the Dragons getting in. The FFRXIII couldn't afford to cover games on local TV, there was no Super League and no NRL. Even with SL's stuff up this year, there has been NRL and a handful of Elite One games.

    Attract Major Sponsors / Major French companies?
    Some of the Catalan's sponsors include:
    • AXA (Major multinational, made 104bn last year alone...)
    • Air France Hop! (Part of Air France - not a nothing airline)
    • BPI France (Investment Bank - Avg Income over 1.4bn pa)
    • Altrad (Also the current French RU Major Sponsor
    Are there more French players with professional contracts?
    In 1999, before the Dragons, there was Jerome Guisset (Raiders) and then....??? I know there were others, but you could honestly count them all on one hand. There are at least 15 French nations in the Catalans 30-man squad alone, plus there others playing across Super League and the Championship.

    Is France more competitive on an international front?
    Arguably no, but on the flip side, where might they be if there was no Catalans? That potentially is more scary.

    For me, they've definitely brought value to both Super League and the French game, and arguably stopped the game from dying in the country. As to why hasn't the French national team kicked on since their admission, there are a few reasons for that including:
    • Other nations have gotten better: Not only do we now have the Pacific nations getting stronger, even the likes of England and New Zealand have gotten better and are no longer anywhere near as hot and cold as they once were.

    • Conflicts of interest: Catalans do want France to be stronger in international Rugby League, however that is like priority 7 or 8 for them... for the Catalans they want to avoid Relegation first, then try and win a trophy or two before worrying about what country a player comes from and if that will strengthen the national team.

    • Lack of depth: Let's face it, for France to be really competitive, they need at least 30+ full time professional players and they're not going to get that from the Catalans alone.

    • French Team Management: The French national team lacks the leadership it needs to make eligible French players want to play for the Les Chanticleers at all costs. It's why you see many top players only turn up around World Cups.
    IMO, if France was to take the next step, we'd want to see some of the following happen:
    • Toulouse in Super League
    • Pacifique Treize in the Queensland Cup
    • New Coach, preferably someone like a Trent Robinson
    • Some investment into the local Elite structures or new Provincial competition
    A better coach will ensure the top French talent want to play, more Professional teams helps build out the pool of eligible players, which in turn sees competition for spots, which generally pushes players, and so on.
  5. titoelcolombiano

    titoelcolombiano Bench

    Nov 21, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Well said
    ed612313 likes this.
  6. ed612313

    ed612313 Juniors

    Nov 13, 2008
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    Will this new rv deal benefit them?

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