- Team Name: Les Chanticleers/Les Tricolores
- First Appearance: 1954
- RLWC2013 Group: Group B
- RLWC2013 Opponents: New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa
- Tournament best: Runners-up (most recently in 1968)
Ones to Watch: Thomas Bosc, Jason Baitieri and Eloi Pelissier
Read more about these great players and why they are ones to watch during RLWC2013.
French Rugby League Super Star, Thomas Bosc, currently captains Super Leagues Catalan Dragons and was one of the clubs top point scorers in 2007. Bosc has represented his country on several occasions since beginning his career and although most famous for his kicking skills, has been filling the gap in the halves since the 2008 season.
The French- Australian Player, Jason Baitieri currently plays for Catalan dragons alongside other World Cup ‘ones to watch’ Bosc and Pelissier. Son of former player and Coach, Tas Baitieri, Jason has played since junior level in both France and Australia before making his debut against the West Tigers at Campbelltown in May 2010.
The 23 year old has chosen to represent France since 2010 and will be a great forward for the nation in RLWC2013.
Also representing France we will have Eloi a young 21 year old born in Perpignan, France. The talented Hooker is yet to officially debut for his country but he is expected to turn out when the squad is names for RLWC2013.
The player who joined the Catalan Dragons in 2011 has played in over 36 Super League Games and brings a young vibrancy to the squad making him one to watch this year.
A Bit of History
With Catalans Dragons going strong in Super league and the domestic competition improving steadily, hopes are high for a Rugby League renaissance in France.
Treize XIII is now the fastest growing sport in France, centred around its southern heartlands. Yet before the 2nd World War and the German occupation, there were more Rugby League clubs than union ones in France. During the war years, union officials collaborated with the Vichy government, league was banned and its assets seized.
Despite this, the early 1950's and late 1960's were golden eras for French Rugby League on the international stage. France reached the 1954 and 1968 World Cup finals, and played a brand of Rugby League that is still revered to this day.
The 2008 World Cup campaign was a major disappointment. With some players under-performing and others out injured, the French finished the World Cup with the wooden spoon.
An improved showing in the subsequent Four Nations, allied with a stronger domestic competition, will give them renewed hope for the 2013 World Cup. The squad will draw heavily on the Catalans Dragons and a hope that a blend of the best of the rest of southern France will continue that improvement.
Fireworks are expected when the New Zealanders and Samoans visit Avignon and Perpignan respectively.