No European Championship favourites for France coach Agar

France coach Richard Agar feels that every team in the European Championship has a chance of winning the competition.

The French open their campaign with a match against Mark Aston’s Ireland in Dublin on Saturday afternoon, before playing Wales at home, and then travelling to southern Scotland to play the Scots at Galashiels.

“I think it’s a really difficult question as to how you would choose a favourite from this competition,” Agar told Love Rugby League.

“There’s no real barometer from the World Cup in terms of continuity, squads, and, certainly from our point of view, there’s not one team that’s going to be heavily influenced in terms of blokes playing regular Super League.

“I think there’s a bit unknown, certainly for me as French coach, in knowing how the French team is going to perform.

“I’ve got no trial games, and I’ve got some guys in there who I’ve seen play on a video three or four times this season.

“We’ve got Ireland first up, and there’s a very healthy Leigh contingent in there, and if anyone has a good eye for a player it’s Mark Aston.

“He’s proved over a number of years that he can find diamonds in the rough regularly.

“So some of those names who might be a bit unknown to us, I’m sure Mark has given the once-over and knows that they’re good enough for his squad.

“So it’s a difficult one to say who will be the main challengers. Every team will be going into this looking for the big prize at the end of it.”

Agar is feeling positive that his group has plenty of quality on which he can draw, and the thought of working with some of the younger, domestically based players is something which really excites him.

“We’ve got a good energy about us,” he added.

“We’ve got some people missing but we’re very much going to concentrate on the guys who are in the squad.

“The next generation of French player is something that the squad are keen to run with.”

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