A former Celtic Crusaders player will coach the French team that will take on Wales in Wrexham in the full international test match on Saturday 16th June (kick-off 2.30pm).
Aurélien Cologni, the former Catalan Dragons Super League player, who made five appearances for the old Celtic Crusaders club at the end of the 2007 season when in Bridgend, has selected an initial 24-man squad.
Cologni, who is currently the head coach of French Elite side Lezignan, is in charge for this match while the French Rugby League Federation (FFR XIII) look for a permanent successor to Bobbie Goulding whose contract expired last year.
Five of the players are in the Catalan Dragons first team squad, while Olivier Elima from Bradford Bulls has also been selected. The remainder of the players come from the top quality French Elite League.
President of the FFR XIII, Nicolas Larrat said: “It was important as part of this game preparation, that we see change at international level. There are a lot of very good young players who play for our Elite League clubs and this will be an opportunity for them to prove themselves ahead of the World Cup in 2013 and Euro Nations that is to be held this autumn.
“This meeting against Wales can offer opportunities to the young players who have demonstrated throughout the season their seriousness, and will show how well they’ve progressed in the French Championship.
“Of course, it is also important that the senior players of the France team will be in there to support the young players who will be launched into the deep end. This is what the coaching staff will be asking of players like Olivier Elima, Gregory Mounis, Jean Philippe Baile and Thomas Bosc.”
Tickets for this match on Saturday 16th June can be bought in advance by going to www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk. They currently cost £10 for adults and £5 for concessions but go up to £12 and £6 on the day.
Squad: Olivier Arnaud (Avignon), Jean-Philippe Baile (Catalan Dragons), William Barthau (Saint-Esteve Xiii Catalan), Romaric Bemba (Carcassonne), Andrew Bentley (Lezignan), Kane Bentley (Lezignan), Julian Bousquet (Saint-Esteve Xiii Catalan), Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons), Damien Cardace (Saint-Esteve Xiii Catalan), Anthony Carrere (Pia), Olivier Elima (Bradford Bulls), Mathieu Griffi (Lezignan), Theo Gonzalez-Metric (Toulouse), Jeremy Guiraud (Carcassonne), Kevin Larroyer (Toulouse), Samy Masselot (Villeneuve Sur Lot), Gregory Mounis (Catalan Dragons), Mathias Acap (Saint-Esteve Xiii Catalan), Eloi Pelissier (Catalan Dragons), Stanislas Robin (Villeneuve Sur Lot), Clement Soubeyras (Pia), Jonathan Soum (Carcassonne), Cyril Stacul (Catalan Dragons), Yoan Tisseyre (Lezignan).