Leeds to give French players further opportunity

Three of the four trialists who appeared for Leeds Rhinos against Wakefield on Boxing Day will be given another opportunity to impress.nnAll four players were from the French Championship and have now returned to their clubs.nnFrenchmen Mathieu Mayans and Amir Sabri along with Samoan Unaloto Lamelamgi may return to Leeds for further trials later in the year.nn“The two Brian [McClennan] felt have got the most chance were the prop, Lamelangi – though he would have to improve his condition – and the half-back, Sabri,” said chairman Gary Hetherington.nn“Sabri is a young, very, very ambitious player, who wants to play in Super League to develop his craft. Brian has given him a training programme to work on.nn“They have now gone back to play for their clubs in France and we aren’t likely to be doing anything with them immediately. There was a possibility of one of them coming in and joining our squad for the new season, but that won’t be happening.nn“The likelihood is that we will continue to monitor the progress particularly of those two and if the need arises, we do have the option of bringing them over from May onwards, which is the end of the French domestic season.nn“We have spoken to their clubs and we’re very grateful to them for allowing them to play with us last week.nn“They are keen to keep them for the rest of their domestic season and we don’t want to get in the way of that, but there is an option for them to return after that to gain some more experience with Leeds Rhinos.nn“The centre, Mayans, got injured in the warm-up before the Boxing Day game and we will have a look at him when he gets back playing at full fitness.nn“The second-row, Mohamed Tamghart, has ruled himself out. He substituted himself, so I don’t think we will be following that up.”nnThe Rhinos believe that there are more players in France who could make it in the engage Super League, and is looking to host a French Academy side next spring.nn“It is still in the early stages, but it has been agreed in principle,” continued Hetherington. “We are looking at developing stronger links with rugby league in France.nn“The success of Catalans Dragons has been a huge boost to the aspirations of all the young players in France, because they can now aspire to play in Super League.nn“What used to happen when they got to a certain standard was, to get better they had to go and play rugby union; now they can play Super League. We would like to be the club of choice for aspiring young Frenchmen.”

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