Catalans and Castleford’s international ‘ground-breaking’ double header

Sebastian Sternik

For the first time ever, an international club double header will take place as both the Castleford Tigers men’s and women’s sides head to Perpignan. 

In what has been hailed as a ‘ground-breaking’ move, the Castleford Tigers Women will take on their Catalans counterparts in a curtain raiser ahead of the men’s Super League clash on Easter Monday.

Catalans Women’s head coach, Cyril Torres, said: “This game is very important as we look to develop our women’s league. I can’t wait to see the women’s team benefit from the exposure.”

Torres believes that games such as this can close the gap to the likes of Australia who have taken the female version of the game by storm.

He said: “The Southern hemisphere has taken the lead in international matches and high intensity rugby but if we can develop the matches between European nations through our clubs, we can close that gap.”

The head coach has also hinted at a future possibility of Catalans possibly joining the Women’s Super League, following on from the men.

Torres said: “The objective of the club is to build a team of quality and to be able to reach the top of the French league. If we get to this point, we can then intend to participate in a European competition.

“The Super League is a major competition which will allow us to have a strong French women’s team. The boy’s built a solid club and recently won the Challenge Cup. Perhaps in the near future a women’s team can do the same. If I had to think of it, it’s possible in three or four years for us to participate in your league.”

Those are ultimately plans for the future however, both teams are firmly intent on making this event work before any further steps are taken.

Castleford will head out to Barcelona on Easter Sunday and travel to France on that same day.

Tigers head coach Lindsay Anfield said: “It’s ground-breaking for the women’s game to have an international double header. I’m sure it will be a fantastic experience for our girls.

“I think it is important to push the boundaries of what can be achieved so organising a friendly game in France this year was firmly on my agenda for my team.”