18 Jun 2024

Australian-based star bolsters France's RLWC26 hopes

Former Sydney Roosters forward Perrine Monsarrat will return from Australia to bolster France's campaign to qualify for the women's 2026 World Cup by beating Serbia in the final round of European RLWCQ fixtures.

After beating Greece 58-0 in April in Marmande, Les Bleues travel to Belgrade with a World Cup berth all but guaranteed as the highest finishing team in Group B.

The top team in Group A, comprising of Ireland, Netherlands and Wales, will also earn a place at RLWC2026 in the Southern Hemisphere, with the two European nations joining Australia, England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in the eight team women's World Cup.

The runners-up of the two pools will meet later this year for a place in the 2025 World Series, featuring a team from the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Middle East Africa, with the winner also advancing to RLWC2026.

Despite having virtially secured a World Cup berth, French coach Romain Maillot is taking no chances and has named Monsarrat in his squad for the match against Serbia on Saturday, June 22.

Monsarrat was a member of the Sydney Roosters squad in last year's NRLW competition and has this season moved to Queensland to play for Tweed Seagulls.

The 24-year-old began playing for Racing Club Lescure Arthes XIII in 2017 and made her international debut for France in 2021, catching the eye of Roosters coach John Strange at the World Cup in England in 2022.

Perinne Monsarrat RLWC2021
Photo: Monssarat was one of France's standout players at RLWC2021 in England (Getty Images)

She played for Central Coast Roosters in the NSWRL competition before being signed on a development contract for the 2023 NRLW season.

"The acclimatisation was rather rough," Monsarrat said during an interview with ffr13.fr. "I went to Australia in February and the NRL reserve season had already started. I had to get up to speed with the girls very quickly.

"It was a bit complicated, since I went straight to the NRLW season with a development contract. I wouldn't have thought I'd do all this the first year, it went very fast, it was hard but I don't regret it.

"Sport in Australia is something very important. It's really ingrained in the culture of the country. From a very young age, they enrol in a very "advanced" sports education. They have a lot of practices, which makes Australians very sporty. Rugby League is one of the major sports alongside footy and cricket, in particular. For me, this is THE big difference between our two countries. But in terms of gastronomy, we're clearly ahead.

"In reality, what is hardest is the lack of family and friends. After about three months it becomes much easier. Above all, we have to tell ourselves that nothing is impossible. With work and a lot, a lot of training, you can very quickly get up to the level of the girls."

Monsarrat has been named in a 20-player squad to play Serbia and England on June 29 in Toulouse.  

Maillot said: "First of all, I would like to thank and underline the work done by the group during this particularly intense preparation camp. Congratulations to all the players! Now we are looking ahead to the match in Serbia for qualification for the 2026 World Cup".


  1. BABY Louane (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  2. BESSAHLI Leïla (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  3. DIRAISON Lisa (RC Lescure Arthès XIII))
  4. HIMOUDI Chahrazad (Toulouse Ovalie)
  5. KESSELY Haoua (Toulouse Ovalie)
  6. KURESA Tallis (RC Bègles XIII)
  7. LECLERC Hélène (Toulouse Ovalie)
  8. LEGOUT Inès (AS Ayguesvives XIII)
  9. MAMA OHANDJA Fanny (AS Ayguesvives XIII/XIII Limouxin)
  10. MONSARRAT Perrine (Tweed Seagulls)
  11. NOE Pauline (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  12. POMMIER Mahault (AS Ayguesvives XIII)
  13. RAMAZEILLES Perle (RC Lescure Arthès XIII)
  14. ROSES Justine (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  15. SAMARRA Dorine (RC Lescure Arthès XIII)
  16. SAMARRA Manon (RC Lescure Arthès XIII)
  17. SAMUEL Noémie (RC Lescure Arthès XIII)
  18. SEGALA Salomé (RC Lescure Arthès XIII)
  19. SONG PUCHE Cristina (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  20. VILANOVE Amael (AS Ayguesvives XIII)