Two days before the release of the list of 24 Tricolores for the Rugby League World Cup organized in England, we have drawn up our own list of 24, in which we note, unsurprisingly, a large majority of players from the Catalan Dragons.
In twenty-five days, the French Rugby League team will enter its sixteenth World Cup. It is in Doncaster (Monday October 17) that Laurent Frayssinous’ players will play their first Pool A meeting, against Greece. Five days later in Bolton, the Habs will oppose England (sold out), then the Samoans, on Sunday October 30 in Warrington. A hen, qualified “of death” and which will send only the first two to the quarter-finals.
So with which selection, the new coach will leave for England on October 7, the day before the preparation meeting against Tonga in Halifax? The answer will be revealed this Saturday, when all selections must send their “24” to the organizers.
To date, the pillar of the Dragons, Julian Bousquet (operated on the knee on July 21) and the playmaker of the TO, Lucas Albert (operated last Monday on the knee) are the two official packages. There are still two questions between Romain Navarrete, touched in the knee on August 28 with the TO at Hull FC and Jordan Dezaria, who has not played since June 19 and his foot injury with the XIII of France against Wales in Albi.
So there are safe bets. The “indisputable”, between the two hookers Da Costa and Pélissier, but also, the experienced pack, Garcia, Jullien, Goudemand, Séguier and Navarrete and the three-quarters well established between Fages, Mourgue, Escaré, Gigot, Yaha and Romano . Laurent Frayssinous also asked Samisoni Langi if he was interested in the adventure and the one who is not kept by the Dragons did not hesitate. The Tongan comes to bring real added value behind.
Options to take and assume
There are therefore still ten places left to complete the group of 24. The pillar Lambert Belmas scored valuable points this summer, after his Achilles tendon operation with twelve match sheets at the TO. On the wing, Paul Marcon will certainly be on the trip and in competition with Arthur Romano on one wing, the other being reserved for Fouad Yaha. Matthieu Laguerre (in the center) is a solid asset for the coach, as is the future pillar of Leeds, Justin Sangaré (24), author of 23 SL games this season with the Olympians. With Romain Navarrete, indisputable holder, the management is already taking a risk to select him. Will he take a second with Jordan Dezaria? The option Mathieu Cozza, who plays with France B, on October 1 against England B in Mérignac is an option, as is Corentin Le Cam on waivers with Maxime Stéfani. Another option, that of placing one more pillar in the group (Cozza), or favoring the versatility of Antoni Marion.
Finally, what about Gadwin Springer (29), who played with Featherstone in the Championship semi-final this Sunday against Batley and who has not worn the colors of the XII of France since 2013? Unlike the previous edition (forfeits of Casty, Gigot, Duport, Simon, Bonnet, Springer, Escaré), the coach can play competition. The last doubts will be lifted this Saturday, September 24 with the official announcement of the group of 24.