Steve McNamara: A Challenge Cup win for Catalans would be massive for French rugby league

Steve McNamara insists a Challenge Cup victory for Catalans would be massive for the sport in France.

The Dragons will look to win their first ever major trophy on Saturday when they face Warrington Wolves in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

McNamara says being the first ever team outside of Britain to win the Challenge Cup would inspire youngsters to take up the sport rather than playing football or rugby union.

He said: “It would be massive for the club first and foremost for the effort everybody puts in.

“It would be great for the area. The trophy has been in my hometown Hull for the last two years and has been round the schools, businesses and colleges.

“To be able to promote the game with a trophy like that would give this area a huge lift because it is different, a France team winning an English-based competition, so I think it would help the game massively.

“And from an international perspective, the standard of the French players in our group has rapidly improved and it’s great for their game as well.”

Catalans captain Remi Casty, who is the only player left from their Challenge Cup defeat in 2007, also thinks winning the Challenge Cup would have an impact on the sport in France.

He said: “Not just for Perpignan or the region but for French rugby league it would mean a lot.

“They are all behind us, they want us to come back with the trophy. You can feel the atmosphere and we have to feed off them.”

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