French Elite season to begin with 9s programme

James Gordon

The new French Elite Championship season will be preceded by a circuit of 9s rugby league across six different venues.

Over the next two weekends, the nine Elite 1 teams will play the shortened version of the game ahead of the main season kick-off on October 16.

Villeneuve, Carcassonne and Avignon will host this weekend’s events, with St Gaudens, St Esteve and Limoux the hosts the following week.

Only nine teams will make up the French Elite 1 Championship this season following the withdrawal of Palau Broncos.

MAGIC: Turn Magic Weekend into Super League Nines competition, says Brad Dwyer

The France national team played in the Rugby League 9s World Cup in Australia back in 2019, beating Wales 23-6.

They were narrowly beaten 12-8 by Lebanon, who later had the win taken from them due to fielding an ineligible player.

France also went down 38-4 to England, with the majority of the squad drawn from Catalans and Toulouse.

Villeneuve’s Thomas Lasvesnes and Lezignan pair Charles Bouzinac and Lilian Albert were part of the travelling party.

AMBITION: Rugby league has Olympics goal as Brisbane awarded 2032 Games

Weekend of October 2 and 3

  • Event 1: Villeneuve-sur-Lot – Saint-Gaudens – Albi
  • Event 2: Carcassonne – Limoux – Toulouse
  • Event 3: Avignon – Saint-Estève XIII Catalan – Lézignan

Weekend of October 9 and 10

  • Event 4: Saint Gaudens– Toulouse- Lézignan
  • Event 5: Saint-Estève XIII Catalan – Albi – Carcassonne
  • Event 6: Limoux – Villeneuve-sur-Lot– Avignon