France Rugby World Cup: Why rugby league fans across the world should follow France’s top tier

New Zealand centre and 2020 NRL Grand Finalist Dean Whare; former North Queensland, Penrith, and Papua New Guinea hooker James Segeyaro; Super League 2018 winner Morgan Escare; former Queensland half-back Corey Norman; and NRL and Super League winner Joseph Paulo. All of them have signed for Elite 1 clubs in France and should be in action when the league returns on Saturday.

Rugby fans from all over the world can book Rugby World Cup 2023 tickets from our online platforms WorldWideTicketsandHospitality.com. RWC 2023 fans can book France Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

France Rugby World Cup: Why rugby league fans across the world should follow France’s top tier
France Rugby World Cup: Why rugby league fans across the world should follow France’s top tier

Despite there being world-renowned players in every game, there will be next to no TV or press coverage, and only a few hundred fans watching on inside humble grounds in various small towns. Such is the strange world of Elite 1, where international stars go about their well-paid business in a media vacuum.

Rather than return home to the Australia Rugby side or New Zealand Rugby side when their contracts are up at Catalans or Toulouse, veteran players are now staying in France for another year or two to play in the domestic league. Former Australia player James Maloney set off this trend when he signed for Lignan after his final appearance for Catalans Dragons in the 2021 Super League Grand Final. Maloney was very open about his intentions; he and his family wanted to keep living in a beautiful area without putting him through the torture of a full pre-season, let alone training every day.

Maloney, now 36, is having a huge impact on Lignan, where he’s been joined by former Catalans and France captain Jason Baiter and now Norman. These illustrious recruits are all in their 30s; former Leeds and Hull KR forward turned Saint-Gaudens player-coach Mitch Garbutt is 33, his old Toulouse colleague Paulo had his 35th birthday this week, and Segeyaro is 32 but most have at least a couple of years of part-time rugby left in them.

The other strand of this headline-grabbing recruitment is French players who are returning from Super League. This week, Albi signed France scrum-half Tony Gigot, who will play alongside the former Hull centre Hakim Miloudi. Escare, now 31 and with almost 200 Super League appearances to his name, is unsurprisingly dominating games for defending champions Carcassonne. France’s second rower Benjamin Jullien will make his 200th career appearance in the colours of the revived Pia XIII Baroudeur. Last month, he and Whare joined Antoni Maria for the Donkeys’ first season back in the top flight since the club folded soon after it won the title in 2013.

These famous players are not earning the money they did in Super League but, with crowds around the 1,000 marks at most Elite 1 games, who is subsidizing their wages? The usual suspect’s wealthy owners and sponsors plus generous state benefits and the traditional source of finance for French clubs: local government. Money is at the root of it all, says local sports journalist Steve Brady of the renaissance. The Elite one is awash with it. There is a financial sense of confidence, which is more remarkable following Covid.

France Rugby World Cup: Why rugby league fans across the world should follow France’s top tier
France Rugby World Cup: Why rugby league fans across the world should follow France’s top tier

France Rugby side is tired of waiting for the elusive RWC 2023 crown

New Year is a unique occasion where everybody gets to usher in a new chapter along with family and friends. But then for the rugby world, the start of RWC 2023 meant that little bit more. As the world thought goodbye to the year that was, the worldwide rugby society became their mind about the Rugby World Cup. History will be made in France later this year as 20 rugby nations get ready to chase the sport’s greatest prize at the Rugby World Cup. Worldwide Tickets and Hospitality offers Rugby World Cup tickets for the France Rugby World Cup 2023 at the best prices. Rugby fans can buy Rugby World Cup Final Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.

Childhood visions will either be released or shattered, as four years of patience and analysis comes to a complete end. While the All Blacks and Springboks are once again amongst the favourites, the Northern Hemisphere has never been this threatening across the board. Ireland will start the Rugby World Cup year as the world’s top-ranked side, while France’s Rugby side is on an incredible unbeaten run that dates to 2021.

Les Bleus are widely deemed to be the favourites for this year’s tournament which agrees to be the most aggressive Rugby World Cup yet. France has fallen painfully short of Rugby World Cup success on three occasions, as they lost the final in 1987, 1999, and 2011. The record books suggest that they make the final every 12 years so they’re due for another look this year should history show again. Les Bleus have also put third once and fourth twice.

France Rugby World Cup: Why rugby league fans across the world should follow France’s top tier
France Rugby World Cup: Why rugby league fans across the world should follow France’s top tier

But as they get ready for their third Rugby World Cup on home soil, there is a genuine faith that this is the year they finally break their drought. As reported by the French rugby newspaper Midi Olympique, French rugby supporters are tired of waiting for their squad to finally lift this Rugby World Cup. Everybody is tired of waiting. France is the last world giant to have never won the Rugby World Cup, the newspaper read, as told by the All-Blacks website. But the chance to finally win has been suggested, on its soil.

Our followers are only waiting for one thing: we finally live this Rugby World Cup. Make no mistake, this French team is very good. France Rugby side played 10 test matches last year, and they won them all. And these wins didn’t come against minnows either, as they beat some of the sport’s traditional powerhouses. After winning the Grand Slam early in 2022, France remained to dominate international rugby during the Autumn Nations Series. Their best result of the Autumn came against the Springboks, where they took on for a four-point win after captain and star scrumhalf Antoine Dupont was red-carded. Dupont, who won World Rugby’s Player of the Year in 2021, confessed that there is tension on his side ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

“Of course, there is tension, but it is a source of motivation for us,” Dupont stated.

It’s a mix of emotions that we must control. This Rugby World Cup, we all want to play in this and win it, like our competitors. Then, until then, we have many deadlines to continue to toughen up and consider this competition with maximum confidence, experience, and calm. Consistency has been France’s Achilles heels at World Cups since the first iteration of the tournament in 1987.

France Rugby World Cup: Why rugby league fans across the world should follow France’s top tier
France Rugby World Cup: Why rugby league fans across the world should follow France’s top tier

Les Bleus could be simply splendid one week, and a shadow of their former selves the next. In 2011, the final runners-up lost the final to hosts New Zealand by just one point after suffering a shock defeat to Tonga in pool play. We know how difficult it is. No team from France has succeeded so far, and only New Zealand and South Africa have won on their soil in nine Rugby World Cups, Dupont added.

I remember that in 2003, the Blues were among the favourites and lost in the semi-finals. However, there are other times when they were not expected, and they made it to the final, where they could, or should, have won.

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