Paper Talk: England to play France as homegrown talent comes to the fore

James Gordon
Rugby league paper talk joseph leilua

Lots of French talk in the Monday morning papers.

England set to take on France

The RFL are lining up at least one test match against France at the end of the year. It is known that French president Luc Lacoste approached Ralph Rimmer about a mid-season test, though England had already agreed to play the Combined Nations match. (League Express)

Williams did anything to get home

George Williams had to rush to get home with partner Charlotte to avoid being stuck in Australia. He scored his first try for Warrington at the weekend. The former Wigan stand-off told The Sun: “You can’t fly after you’re 28 weeks’ pregnant and Charlotte was 26, so we had to get home quick otherwise we’d have been stuck in Australia! Our first 12 months were brilliant, then we couldn’t come home. We just felt a little bit lost to be honest and when you have to get home, you’d do anything.” (The Sun)

Homegrown talent coming to the fore at Catalans

Catalans coach Steve McNamara says they are starting to reap the rewards of developing young players in France. Having previously been criticised for relying on imports, several young French stars have come to the fore in 2021, something that doesn’t just happen overnight. He said: “We revamped our squad this year to develop some more pathways and push more French players through and, while there was an unknown there, we’ve performed consistently well and given ourselves a chance to do something special.” (The Guardian)

Internationals on the horizon

There are likely to be international matches arranged to fill the void left by the postponement of the World Cup. But International Rugby League chairman Troy Grant said: “Nations can organise Test matches between themselves but for them to be Tests, they need to be sanctioned by IRL. However, if those propositions are raised to us, we’ll deal with them at the time.” (The Sun)

Toulouse ready for Super League

Toulouse are ready for Super League and it could provide a shot in the arm for rugby league in Europe. Coach Sylvain Houles said: “We knew we had a challenge, but the prize at the end, getting into Super League, has kept our focus. The club has been growing for a number of years, but we believe we’re ready for Super League.” (The Guardian)

Don’t write off Halifax

Halifax coach Simon Grix says they shouldn’t be written off in the Super League promotion chase, as they continue to consolidate their play-off place behind Toulouse and Featherstone. On a nine-match winning run, Grix said: “The play-offs are knockout rugby, and when that’s the case, you never know.” (League Express)