French round-up: Rangi Chase considered France move, as Avignon turn up heat in top four race,

Rangi Chase (7) of West Wales Raiders celebrates his sides try

There were big winning margins in four of the five games in the Elite Championship at the weekend.

In the closest game, Avignon recorded a 20-16 win over Limoux to drag them close to the top four as their resurgence continues.

Louis Jouffret, Sofiane Ghanem and Corentin Rey scored first half tries as Avignon opened up a 19-0 lead by half-time, Tony Gigot adding a late drop goal.

Limoux got on the board before Gigot added a second drop goal. Zachary Santo’s converted try made it 20-12 before Alain Torreilles opted to take a penalty to reduce arrears to one score.

The Grizzlies then decided to take a further penalty to bring things back to 20-16, but Avignon held on to win.

The Bisons are now just a point behind Limoux, who are a further three points behind third place Lezignan, who coasted past Toulouse 42-12.

Carcassonne remain top, having won 10 out of 11 games so far this season, beating Palau 46-16, with St Esteve a point behind them and a point ahead of Lezignan after their 40-20 win away at St Gaudens.

Villeneuve bounced back from a couple of defeats with a comfortable 42-16 win over Albi.

Chase considered France move

Former England international and Man of Steel Rangi Chase considered moving to France, before opting to join League 1 side West Wales Raiders. Chase, now 34, said: “I was looking for a change. I wanted to get out of Yorkshire because I’d been around there so long. I was getting a bit stagnant and I needed a new challenge. I was either going to France or Wales. I got speaking to Aaron – I played against him in my younger days – and then the club sold it to me.”

Elite 2 Championship won’t resume

The Elite 2 Championship will not resume for the 2020/21 season, it has been confirmed. The competition has been paused since before Christmas, and barely a handful of games had been played. Under 19s and amateur championships have also been cancelled. The next Elite 2 Championship season could start in October.

Elite 1 Championship Results

  • Villeneuve 42-16 Albi
  • Carcassonne 46-16 Palau
  • St Gaudens 20-40 St Esteve
  • Toulouse 12-42 Lezignan
  • Limoux 16-20 Avignon

Elite 1 Championship Table

Upcoming Fixtures

  • Avignon v Toulouse (Sat, 2pm UK)
  • Albi v St Esteve (Sat, 3pm)
  • Villeneuve v Limoux (Sat, 3pm)
  • Carcassonne v Lezignan (Sun, 2pm)
  • Palau v St Gaudens (Sun, 2pm)

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