England prolonged their successful run in opposition to France to 22 matches after a cushty victory in Saturday’s mid-season Take a look at at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium; former nationwide group boss Tony Smith instructed Sky Sports activities he desires extra to be completed to assist the event of the French gamers
Final Up to date: 01/05/23 9:40am
Tony Smith believes the sport on this nation must do extra to help the expansion of rugby league in France following England’s 64-0 win over their cross-Channel rivals in Saturday’s mid-season Take a look at.
The defeat for the guests on the Halliwell Jones Stadium prolonged a now 22-match shedding run in opposition to England which stretches again to 1981, having changed the Mixed Nations All Stars as mid-season opponents this yr.
The outcome will seemingly elevate questions once more about whether or not France can present Shaun Wane’s aspect with the standard of opposition wanted to arrange them for going through the may of conventional rivals Australia and New Zealand, and rising Southern Hemisphere powers Samoa and Tonga.
However whereas Smith sympathises with that viewpoint, the previous Nice Britain and England head coach is in little question the reply lies with giving French gamers extra alternatives and publicity to the worldwide enviornment.
“I can perceive that, and I make the purpose I believe they should do extra to lift their stage at some stage and they should have some severe discussions about that themselves,” Smith mentioned whereas serving as certainly one of Sky Sports activities’ studio analysts for the match.
“However what are we going to do, go away them out within the chilly? If we actually wish to have a Northern Hemisphere group we are able to compete with, that is the following one.
“We have got to nurture them; we have to assist them on. They have [Catalans Dragons and Toulouse Olympique] within the [British professional] competitions, however we have to assist them develop their younger gamers.
If we actually wish to have a Northern Hemisphere group we are able to compete with, [France] is the following one. We have got to nurture them; we have to assist them on.
Former Nice Britain and England head coach Tony Smith
“Possibly we play at some youthful ranges earlier, give them publicity – they have some improbable athletes of their nation growing. We simply have to get them to the highest stage and provides them extra competitors.”
France have proven progress at age group stage lately, successful the U19 European Championship in 2018 after which ending as runners-up in final yr’s match with a slim 14-12 loss to England within the last after main 8-0 at half-time.
The rise of Catalans Dragons within the Betfred Tremendous League and the information the nation can be sole host of the Rugby League World Cup for the primary time in 53 years in 2025 have additionally given the 13-a-side code in France additional boosts.
Ten of the matchday 17 chosen by head coach Laurent Frayssinous for the match in opposition to England are a part of the Dragons’ squad, however others within the nationwide group like big-hitting prop Florian Vailhen of Elite 1 membership Pia are solely enjoying on a part-time foundation within the French home league.
“Some gamers who play within the French competitors, coaching part-time and twice every week, for some moments that they had a go and had been on the identical web page as the very best gamers from the Tremendous League competitors,” Frayssinous instructed Sky Sports activities.
“Not for too lengthy, however for moments, so if these gamers carry on working onerous and enjoying week in, week out in the very best groups within the competitors I believe the longer term for France can be good.
“The scoreboard is difficult – it’s what it’s; we are going to be taught from it, take our medication, and carry on enhancing for the following recreation. We all know the place we’re, and we are going to carry on working onerous to be higher for subsequent time.”
Guaranteeing extra gamers have entry to being in a full-time coaching and enjoying setting is an space the place Smith feels French rugby league can enhance itself.
Certainly, the Hull FC head coach acknowledges change should come from inside too even with additional growth help coming from these shores.
“They have to assist themselves,” Smith mentioned. “They have to go away and say ‘we have to cease this from taking place yr after yr’.
“Hopefully they’re going to get that message again there and put money into the event increasingly more. I do know there are some good issues taking place, however they should pace it up additionally.”