Published by IRL
23 Dec 2020

International Rugby League (IRL) secretary general Danny Kazandjian met with Luc Lacoste, the new President of Federation Française de Rugby a Treize (FFRXIII) on Friday in Carcassonne, also in attendance were FFRXIII secretary general Dominique Baloup and Dr Jean Guilhem. All three were recently elected to the 24-person FFRXIII board. 

During the meeting President Lacoste outlined a five-point strategy for the development of rugby league in France.

Lacoste summed up the plan saying, “We are ambitious for rugby league in France and we have many things to achieve. This will be a re-launch for rugby league in France. We have a tremendous history in rugby league, and we need to adopt an influential position in the global game.”

His plans cover five distinct areas:

  • Re-launch the sport to players and address the number of active club players, initially by attracting back players who have dropped out of the sport
  • Support for the clubs. FFRXIII recognises that it is the clubs who attract and keep players not the federation. They will support the clubs and set up a COVID recovery plan with clubs at the centre.
  • Introduce an active schools and university programme, a vital part of the growth of every sport.
  • Create “Club France” which will include the men’s, women’s and wheelchair squads. To create the best possible conditions to help France’s men’s and women’s team performances at RLWC2021 and to give France’s world champion wheelchair team the very best chance to retain their trophy.
  • Media and communications, there are many good things happening, but FFRXIII has been too silent. FFRXIII has to create media interest in what are exceptional competitions at Elite level. Generating media interest means that people outside of the rugby league regions take notice and FFRXIII has to lead that operation.

M. Lacoste recognises the need to pull all areas of the sport together to achieve the greatest success. “I have already received great support from both Bernards – Sarrazain (Toulouse Olympique) and Guasch (Dragons Catalans) and they too recognise that this project will be successful and beneficial if we are all pulling together.”

IRL secretary general, Danny Kazandjian summed up his views on the meeting saying, “I would like to thank President Lacoste and his colleagues for the warm welcome they extended to me. More importantly, I was engaged and encouraged by our discussions about FFRXIII’s plans. They quite rightly have serious ambitions for rugby league in France and displayed great energy and determination to realise them. International Rugby League looks forward to working with the president and his team over the coming months and years.”