Tonga: Catalans coaching style was ‘robotic’

Leigh centre Willie Tonga has described how his former head coach Laurent Frayssinous insisted on doing things a particular way at Catalans which didn’t allow for much freedom.

The former Australia international moved to the Centurions ahead of last season – signing a two-year deal.

Tonga spent the 2015 season with the Dragons in France, making 19 appearances.

“They stuck to one structure and didn’t like to go outside that,” Tonga told Love Rugby League.

“It was like a robot-style mentality.”

Tonga thinks the style of coaching is one of the “big reasons” why the Dragons have struggled to win any silverware since the club joined Super League over a decade ago.

At Leigh he feels there is a more relaxed and open approach torugby league.

New Centurions signings Eloi Pelissier and Antoni Maria, both of whom are former Catalan players, will have the chance to showcase what they can do at their new club, according to Tonga.

“I think with Eloi and Antoni [Maria] this could be the best move for their career,” he said.

“Now they’re over here and they’ve been given free rein to do what they’re best at.

“I think they’ll only grow, improve as players and be better for the team.”

The 33-year-old also described his eagerness to play Wigan in Super League.

In the past the two clubs have only met in the Challenge Cup and pre-season friendlies but now the Centurions are back in the top-flight they will do battle on the domestic stage.

“I had a personal rivalry with a few of the Wigan boys when I was at the Catalans,” he said.

“I know it is a massive game and I just can’t wait to get out there.”


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