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France name official squad

France has become the first nation to name their official team for next month’s Rugby League World Cup in Australia, releasing an impressive 23-man line-up featuring 14 English Super League players.

Among the 14 are 12 members of the Catalans Dragons who lost their Super League elimination final to Trent Barrett’s Wigan side last weekend.

Three players – captain Jerome Guisset (Catalans Dragons), Laurent Carrasco (Villeneuve, France) and Julien Rinaldi (Harlequins London) – all played in the last World Cup in 2000; while another three will make their debuts for France – Australians Jared Taylor (Lezignan XIII, France) and John Wilson (Dragons) and Jean-Philippe Baile (Dragons).

With just 30 days to go tomorrow until the Tournament starts, the French have got the jump on the remaining nine nations who will not name their final teams for another two weeks following the NRL and Super League grand finals.

The French team’s Australian coach, John Monie, will have the luxury of being able to get his full squad together next Monday for a five-day training camp in the French alps at Tignes before arriving in Australia on October 13 for a camp on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Sydney-based players in the Australian and New Zealand squads, whose teams have been eliminated from the NRL play-offs, have started training – with the Australians having a session at Parramatta today and the Kiwis training Monday and again this Friday.

While the Catalans Dragons, coached by former St George Illawarra assistant Mick Potter, fill 12 of the 23 spots in the French team named today, the other places are filled by two more Super League players, one English National League player and eight from the French domestic competition.

Two other Australians feature in the team along with rookies Taylor (ex Sharks) and Wilson (Tigers) - James Wynne (Lezignan), formerly Knights, and Justin Murphy (Catalans), formerly Bulldogs and Warriors. All four have lived and played in France for over three years therefore qualifying through the residency rule.

France have been drawn in Pool 2 with Fiji and Scotland; with Tonga, Samoa and Ireland in Pool 3; and Australia, England, NZ and Papua New Guinea in the “Super Pool”.

They will open their 2008 RLWC campaign against Scotland in Canberra on October 26 and will play Fiji in Wollongong on November 1. The French have not played in a World Cup final since their 20-2 loss to Australia at the SCG in 1968.

The 29-day 2008 RLWC tournament begins on October 25 with England and Papua New Guinea clashing in Townsville and ends with the already sold-out Final at Suncorp Stadium on November 22.

2008 OFFICIAL FRENCH WORLD CUP SQUAD

 

ANSELME

Eric

Leeds Rhinos UK

BAILE

Jean-Philippe

Catalans Dragons UK

BORLIN

J. Christophe

St Gaudens, France

BOSC

Thomas

Catalans Dragons UK

CARRASCO

Laurent

Villeneuve RL, France

CASTY

Remi

Catalans Dragons UK

ELIMA

Olivier

Catalans Dragons UK

FAKIR

Jamal

Catalans Dragons UK

FELLOUS

Adel

Lezignan XIII, France

GRESEQUE

Maxime

Pia 13, France

GRIFFI

Mathieu

Catalans Dragons UK

GUISSET

Jerome

Catalans Dragons UK

MOLY

Christophe

Carcassonne XIII, France

MOUNIS

Gregory

Catalans Dragons UK

MURPHY

Justin

Catalans Dragons UK

PELO

Dimitri

Catalans Dragons UK

PLANAS

Sebastien

Toulouse Olympique, France

RAGUIN

Sebastien

Catalans Dragons UK

RINALDI

Julien

Harlequins London, UK

SADAOUI

Teddy

Carcassonne XIII, France

TAYLOR

Jared

Lezignan XIII, France

WILSON

John

Catalans Dragons UK

WYNNE

James

Lezignan XIII, France

 

 Coach: John Monie

 

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