France squad for Wales International
have named their 19-man squad who will travel to The Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium to take on Wales this Saturday (kick-off 2:30pm).by NRL
have named their 19-man squad who will travel to The Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium to take on Wales this Saturday (kick-off 2:30pm).
The initial French training squad came into camp on Monday and three days of intense training helped coaches Aurelien Cologni and Thierry Dumaine to make their decision.
Six of the players selected come from France's only Super League side, Catalan Dragons while Olivier Elima from Bradford Bulls is also chosen. The remaining 12 players come from the strong French Elite league.
"These three days of training were very satisfactory," said Dumaine. "The senior players that are Olivier Elima, Gregory Mounis, Thomas Bosc and Jean-Philippe Baile put newcomers at ease and in we have trained in good conditions.
"The atmosphere in the squad is excellent and we have created an equal culture so that there is no distinction between the players.
"Having an initial squad of 24 allowed us to open up the field of possibilities and have a real opposition in the field sessions. But we had to make a choice."
Cologni is pleased with the make-up of the squad as the French build for the 2013 World Cup that starts 500 days from today (Wednesday).
"We want to give the young players a chance," Cologni said. "A chance to measure the work that lies ahead to become an international player. The high level games are a unique experience and we believe that many of our French League players, given their season this year, deserve their selections.
"It would have been more comfortable to take more players from Catalans Dragons to win more easily. But that isn't our goal for this game. We know the qualities of our young French players. Of course a team is built around a strong frame, but we wanted to ensure that French Elite players were playing alongside those from Super League in this game. This mixture will be beneficial to us, I believe.
"I'm not afraid of the result, I am convinced that the players selected will give 100%. We will be aiming to win even if though I will admit that we are less safe than usual.
"Wales are a team who apply a practice of safe play. We will expect a battle down the middle and we have the players to compete with that. The Welsh seldom create surprise, they are more in the fight. We need to be aggressive from the start and play with our qualities - our releases and our speed of play."
The French will field up to five debutants on Saturday - Antoni Maria, Kevin Larroyer, Jeremy Guiraud, Stanislas Robin and Clement Soubeyras.
Dumaine is pleased with how all five of them have performed in training.
"Antoni can play centre or second row," he said. "This is a player who has made great ??progress physically but also on his ability to exploit the ball. He is a big defender and an attacker that's second to none.
"Kevin has the same profile as Antoni. He is a big fighter who has benefited this year from a lot of game-time. He is a second row international of the future.
"Jeremy can play at forward or back. He has been putting in good performances for two years in the French League for Carcassonne. His selection is his opportunity to bring competition to positions where there is little choice at the moment.
"Stanislas has been training with Catalan Dragons. A half back, he has the ability to destabilise the opposition's defence. He is a player who has progressed in his kicking game and I believe he is a real potential for the World Cup in 2013.
"Finally Clement has converted from the halves to the wing. He is a player who has good sense of anticipation, a very good game speed and quality of support . At only 21, the chance to judge him at the top level is given."
Tickets for Wales v France can be bought by going to www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk.
FRANCE 19-MAN SQUAD - Jean-Philippe Baile (Catalan Dragons), William Barthau (Saint-Esteve XIII Catalan), Romaric Bemba (Carcassonne), Andrew Bentley (Lezignan), Kane Bentley (Lezignan), Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons), Olivier Elima (Bradford Bulls), Mathieu Griffi (Lezignan), Jeremy Guiraud (Carcassonne), Kevin Larroyer (Toulouse), Antoni Maria (Saint-Esteve XIII Catalan), Gregory Mounis (Catalan Dragons), Mathias Pala (Saint-Esteve XIII Catalan), Eloi Pelissier (Catalan Dragons), Stanislas Robin (Villeneuve Sur Lot), Clement Soubeyras (Pia), Mickael Simon (Catalan Dragons), Cyril Stacul (Catalan Dragons), Yoan Tisseyre (Lezignan).
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